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Full text of "Life and military career of Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman"

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IN THE EVERGLADES OF FLORIDA. 



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75 



)p(r LIFE AND MILITARY CAREER 



OF 



MAJQK-GEJSTEBAL 



WILLIAM TECUMSEH SHERMAN. 



ftEV. P. C. HEADJjET, 



AETHOB OF " NAPOLEON," " JOSEPHINE." " WOXEIT OF THE EI31I 
10 BOY," ETC., ETC. 




NEWYOEK: 
GEO. A. LEAVITT, PUBLISHER. 

43 MERCER & 455 BROOME STREETS. 

1868. 



Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by 

WM. H. APPLETON, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 

Southern District of New York. 



HENKY STANLEY ALLEN", Esq., 

OF NEW TORE, 

THIS YOLUME IS INSCRIBED, 

WITH SINCERE RESPECT AND REGARD, 

BY THE AUTHOR. 



PEEFACE 



Although General Sherman's military career 
lias only reached its most interesting and brilliant 
period, grateful and admiring thousands mil wel- 
come an authentic outline of his history to the pres- 
ent time. The facts of his early life were obtained 
from those who knew him best. 

To Colonel Bowman, an appreciative friend of 
General Sherman, whose sketches of him in the 
XT. S. Service Magazine were graphic and reliable, 
to the Army and JVavy Journal and able corre- 
spondents, we are indebted for valuable material. 

The pen-portrait of the great commander, by Mr. 
Alvord, which has never before been published, will 
be read with special interest. 



6 PREFACE. 

The volume is not offered to the public as a com 
plete biography, with all that might have been omit- 
ted carefully sifted from the essential statements, 
but the annals of a remarkable man, with incidents 
connected with his movements ; affording the youth 
and all others, a general view of the nation's hero, 
from infancy to the unrivalled distinction he now 
holds. 

May the unpretending volume stimulate the 
youthful mind to virtuous and noble deeds, while 
it contributes to the more complete and voluminous 
memoirs which will be written in the peaceful future 
before us, for whose blessings of a perpetuated Union 
and civil liberty we shall owe a lasting debt of 
gratitude to General Sherman. 



CONTENTS 



CHAPTER I. 

PAGE 

The Boyhood of Heroes — The ancestry of William Tecumseh Sherman — 
The death of his Father— Why the name of the Indian Chief was given 
him— The Birth-place of William Tecumseh, 13 

CHAPTER II. 

The Eventful Call— "Cump" in the Sandbank — The Unexpected Sum- 
mons — He obeys — His new Home — School days — A Studious and Ee- 
able Boy— Is appointed Cadet — Leaves Home for West Point — His Life 
in the Academy — Graduates and goes to Florida, 23 

CHAPTER III. 

The Lieutenant in the Florida War— Its Origin — The " Exiles " — Seminole 
Indians — Osceola — His wife made prisoner — The second Seminole 
War— Wild Cat's Daughter — Peace— Lessons of the events before and 
after, 28 

CHAPTER IV. 

Lieutenant Sherman in Fort Moultrie— The Fortress — The Mexican War — 
He goes to California— His Service there— Appointed Captain— His 
Marriage — ExcitiDg Scenes in California— In the Commissary Depart- 
ment — Resigns his Commission— Turns Banker, ..... 39 



8 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER Y. 

PAGU 

Takes charge of a Military Academy in Alexandria, Louisiana — He sees 
the rising storm of Civil War— Eesigns— A noble Letter — He repairs to 
St. Louis, and superintends a Street Eailroad, ... . 4? 



CHAPTER VI. 

Sumter falls — Sherman repairs to "Washington— His Interview with the Sec- 
retary of War and the President — His Prophetic Insight of the Threat- 
ening Times— The state of the Country — Eebel Expectations, . . 50 



CHAPTER VII. 

The Conflict Deepens — The Captain is made Colonel of the Thirteenth New 
York Volunteers— The Battle of Bull Eun— The unterrified Com- 
mander of the Thirteenth and his Troops— The Brave Stand, . . 54 



CHAPTER VIII. 

General Sherman goes to Kentucky — Muldraugh's Hill — His army weak- 
ened—General Buckner's superior force— Succeeds General Anderson 
— Writes General McClellan— Interview with Secretary Cameron— 
Paducah, CO 



CHAPTER IX. 

Pittsburg Landing— The Surprise— The Battle— The Victory — Sherman's 
glorious part in the Struggle — The Testimony of Officers— His Let- 
ter on the Contest, 67 



CHAPTER X. 

The Morning after the Battle— General Sherman's column in Motion — What 
it did— Corinth the next Goal — The Siege— The Evacuation— General 
Sherman's troops the first to enter the Works— The Hero is made Major-? 



CONTENTS. t> 

PAGB 

General— Advance on Holly Springs — Memphis — General Sherman's 
successful Command in that City— The Guerrillas, 82 



CHAPTER XI. 

General Sherman's nest Post — The Steele's Bayou Expedition — A Trial 
of Courage — The Leader's Heroism. 



CHAPTER XII. 

The Position of the "Western Forces — The Expedition against Yicksburg 
■under General Sherman — The Just and Stringent Orders of the Chief- 
He shows the Speculators no Mercy — The Advance of the Grand Army 
Checked— The Embarkation of Troops— The Magnificent Pageant — The 
Progress and Arrival of the Eleet, . . 95 

CHAPTER XIII. 

The March — The City — Preparations for an Assault — The Attack — The 
Abatis and Kifle-pits— The Charge upon the Hill— Sherman succeed- 
ed by McClernand— General Sherman's Pare-well Order — Eesult of the 
Expedition, 105 



CHAPTER XIY. 

The Plot— General Sherman's Part — His Successful Feint at Haines' Bluff 
— Joins the Main Army — The Advance toward Jackson, the State Cap- 
ital — The Victorious Entry of the City— On to Yicksburg again— As- 
saults— Siege — Yictory— General Sherman goes after "Joe" Johnston, . 119 



CHAPTER XY. 

General Sherman watching Joe Johnston— Foraging— An Attack — The En- 
emy steals away in the Night— The Conquering Battalions have a 
brief rest — Encampment on the Big Black Eiver — Scenes there — Ee- 
enforces General Eosecrans — Death of General Sherman's Son— Beau- 
tiful Letter— The Monument . 12T 



10 CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XVI. 

PAGE 

The Grand Advance from Memphis — The Enemy prepare to Meet it — Gen- 
eral Sherman's Genius equal to any Emergency— Eapid Marches — The 
Toe driven from the Path — New Command— The Swollen Eiver— Into 
Chattanooga — The Tireless Chief and his Gallant Troops push forward 
to Missionary Eidge, 136 

CHAPTER XVII. 

The Place of Battle— The Battle-ground— General Sherman's Part in the 
Struggle — Desperate Valor — Victory — Pursuit — No Eest — General 
Burnside in Peril — General Sherman hastens to his Eelief— The Bridge 
breaks down — It is Eebuilt, and the Heroic Battalions save Knoxville 
— General Sherman again at Chattanooga, 143 

CHAPTER XVIII. 

A New Expedition— Its Wise Design — Cause of its Failure in the Main Pur- 
pose — The Hero of Yicksburg is created Lieutenant-General— The New 
Order of Things — Two Grand Lines of March and of Conquest — From 
Chattanooga to Kenesaw Mountain, 162 

CHAPTER XIX. 

The Battl'- of Eenesaw Mountain — On to Marietta— Across the Chatta- 
hooehio— General Johnston succeeded by General Hood— Marching and 
Fighting— Death of McPher3on— Fight at Jonesboro — The last struggle 
for Atlanta— Victory, 136 

CHAPTER XX. 

The Tidings of Victory at Washington— The President's Messages to the 
People and to the Army — General Sherman congratulates his Bat- 
talions — The Eebel General is indignant — The Correspondence between 
him and General Sherman— The authorities of Atlanta also unrecon- 
ciled to the new order of things— The noble Letters and Conduct of 
the Conquerer, 217 



CONTENTS. 11 

CHAPTER XXI. 

PAOB 

The Events which followed the Trace — General Hood's Army in Motion — 
Battle at Allatoona Pass — He is left to the care of the gallant Thomas 
— The New and Magnificent Campaign of General Sherman — The Field 
of his Operations — Burning of Borne — The Advance — Atlanta partially 
Burned— The Eehel Tears and Hopes— The March, 249 

CHAPTER XXII. 

The March beyond the Eiver— The Exciting Discovery by the Enemy — 
General Sherman's Strategy — On to Savannah — The Bebel— Surprise — 
The Army approach the City — A bold Movement— The Scouts — The 
Signals— Fort McAllister stormed — Savannah invested, . . . .287 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

The Surrender of the City demanded— The Eefusal— Preparation to At- 
tack — The Enemy Flee — The Entrance of the Union Army — Scenes 
that followed — General Sherman and the Negroes, 304 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
Major-General Sherman appreciated at Home — A Conflagration — A New 
and Bolder Campaign— General Sherman begins his March — Perils 
and Progress— Branchville and Columbia— Charleston, .... 330 

CHAPTER XXV. 

"Wilmington— Peace Commissioners — General Sherman's Statesmanship — 
His Characteristics — Interesting Becollections of General Sherman — 
His Pure Character, 857 



CHAPTER I. 



The Boyhood of Heroes — The ancestry of "William Tecumseh Sherman — Th6 
death of his Father — Why the name of the Indian Chief was given him— 
The Birth-place of "William Tecum seh. 



\Y youthful reader, you have heard the adage, 
" the boy is father of the man ; " which means 
clearly, that the principles and habits of early 
years form the character and destiny of after 
life. And you will find in the history of nearly 
all great and good men, in this country certainly, that 
they began, in humble circumstances, their career. Not 
that poverty is necessary to success, but the struggle to 
carve one's own way in the world, the almost unaided 
effort to secure an education for a profession or business, 
develops and strengthens character. 

Another thing is true of deservedly eminent men ; 
they were obedient and dutiful while under the parental 
roof. A selfish, rebellious boy, never made an honored 
member of society and of the State. You will find illus- 




14 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

trations of these truths in the lives of Washington, Adams, 
Lincoln, Grant, Mitchel, Sherman, and many others, 
whose fame is lasting as our institutions. 

In the year 1634 the Hon. Samuel Sherman, his 
brother, Rev. John Sherman, and their cousin, Captain 
John Sherman, who were residents of Dedham, England, 
came to this country. This was only thirteen years after 
the May Flower, with its pilgrim company, rocked in 
Massachusetts Bay. There were no ocean steamers 
then proudly ploughing the broad Atlantic. In a ship 
like the plain bark which bore the first colony, whose 
free principles, civil and religious, lie at the foundation 
of this Republic, they embarked for the wilderness of the 
New World. 

You can see, in imagination, the white-winged vessel 
glide from its haven into the " wide, v/ide sea," and float- 
like a speck over the waste of waters. The winds blow, 
the crested billows toss the Shermans, with the rest of 
the ship's company, about for weeks ; they little dream- 
ing of quite a different storm, in which a descendant 
would figure so conspicuously, just two hundred and 
thirty years later At length the ship reached Boston 
harbor. 

The Rev. John Sherman, a graduate of Immanuel 
College, " and a Puritan," went at once to his work. The 
Sabbath dawned, and under an ancient tree in the present 
town of Watertown, three miles from Boston, you might 






LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 15 

have seen a quiet and attentive congregation listening to 
his first sermon in America. Here he settled, after re- 
ceiving a call to Milford, Conn. Some of his descendants 
were excellent and popular divines. The captain also 
settled there ; and from his branch of the family came 
Roger Sherman, the signer of the Declaration of Inde- 
pendence. 

The Hon. Samuel Sherman pushed on to Wethersfield, 
Conn. Soon after he removed to Stamford, and finally 
settled down in Stratford. The " coat of arms," that is 
to say, the family escutcheon or badge, bears a lion ram- 
pant, and a sea lion on the crest. The motto is : " Con- 
quer death by virtue." From him descended the " hero 
of our story," whose grandfather, Taylor Sherman, for 
many years judge, died May 4th, 1815, in the ripeness 
of his manhood, at the age of fifty-eight. 

The widow, like the families of Generals Grant and 
Mitchel, and of our most worthy President, turned her 
face toward the far West ; for it was then a long and 
weary way to the rich valleys of the Mississippi and its 
tributaries. The beautiful State of Ohio — the empire 
State of the western world — became her home. The 
prospects, for her sons especially, on the cheap, rich soil, 
and in the rising towns of that vast and new territory, 
were much better than in Xew England. 

The pleasant settlement of Lancaster was their first 
residence. Subsequently she removed to Mansfield, in the 



16 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

same State, where she died in 1848. Her children were 
Charles Robert, who was born September 26th, 1788, 
Daniel and Betsey. Charles married Mary Hoyt, May 
8th, 1810, and settled in Lancaster. His profession was 
law, in which he excelled particularly as an advocate ; 
he was very eloquent and successful in pleading the cause 
of his clients before the judge and jury. 

In the year 1823 he was elected judge of the Superior 
Court of Ohio. He continued in this high position till 
June 20th, 1829. Could you have stood in the court 
room on that early summer day, you would have seen the 
fine intelligent face of the judge suddenly grow pale, fol- 
lowed by an expression of suffering. The eyes of the 
" gentlemen of the bar," and of citizens present, are 
turned with anxious interest toward him. Soon after, he 
is compelled to leave the bench and remove to his private 
apartment, where he rapidly sinks into the embrace of 
death. His disease was supposed to be that fatal scourge 
of eastern lands and our own — the cholera. Probably 
my young reader was not born when it spread terror 
through nearly all the cities of our Union. In 1840 his 
remains w»ere removed to Lancaster, Ohio. Should you 
become a western lawyer, you may have occasion to 
consult his decisions, contained in the first three volumes 
of the Ohio Reports. 

This gifted, highly educated and popular judge left a 
widow with eleven children. She was a devoted wife and 



LIFE OF (JESTER AL SHERMAN. 17 

mother, and a communicant in the Presbyterian Church. 
Charles T., the eldest, is now a successful lawyer in 
Washington, D. C. ; the next in order was Mary Eliza- 
beth ; the third, James ; the fourth, Amelia ; the fifth, 
Julia ; and the sixth, "William Tecumseh, our hero. 
After him were L. Parker, John, the able and loyal 
senator from Ohio, who was born May 10th, 1823 ; and 
after him were Susan D. Hoyt and Frances B. 

William Tecumseh was born February 8th, 1820. It 
was quite difficult to decide upon a name for the boy. 
" What shall we call him?" was the topic of much do- 
mestic chat. Two or three favorite names were suggested 
and discussed, but still the child was nameless. 

One day the father, who had seen the Indian chieftain 
Tecumseh, and admired that really great man, came in 
and said, " I have the name of a better man than either we 
have mentioned." The eye and ear of those around the 
cradle were turned to know whom he could be. The bright 
boy only seemed to have no interest in the matter. " Te- 
cumseh, we will name him," was the almost startling an- 
nouncement. It was softened down to the tone of civilized 
life by the addition of William. The further reason for the 
selection of a warrior's name who fought for the English, 
I will tell you, as I did the story of " Ulysses S. Grant," 
now his lieutenant-general, in the language of another 
who wrote me on the subject : " Tecumseh, the celebrated 
chief and warrior of the Shawanoese tribe, who was killed 
2 



18 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

at the battle of the Thames, October 5th, 1813, was for 
a long time kept in rather fond remembrance in this im- 
mediate vicinity, by those who were engaged in that con- 
flict, of whom Captain Sanderson is still a resident here ; 
because they knew that several times he prevented the 
shedding of innocent blood. This fact, with the desire 
of Mr. Sherman to have one son educated for military 
life, led him to choose Tecumseh for the boy, he being 
born not long after the death of that chieftain." 

Tecumthe, or as it is written Tecumseh, a Shawanoese 
Indian, was born in Piqua, since called West Boston, on 
Mad River, in Clarke County, Ohio. Tecumseh's grand- 
mother was the daughter of a Southern English colonial 
governor, who fancied the handsome young Creek, and 
married him. Their only son took for his wife a Shaw- 
anese woman, who gave birth to Tecumseh while on 
a journey from the southern to the western hunting 
grounds. A few years later three more sons were born 
at the same time, one of whom, Tenskwautawaw, became 
the famous prophet who was the artful and unprincipled 
instrument of his brother, Tecumseh, in his great life- 
work, which was to arouse and unite the western tribes 
in the last determined effort to drive and keep their white 
neighbors from the valley of the Mississippi. While a 
boy, his splendid genius gave him the leadership among 
his playmates, and he "was in the habit of arranging 
them in parties for the purpose of fighting sham battles." 



LIFE OP GENES AL SHEKMAN. 19 

"When about fifteen years old, he was so shocked al 
the scene then common among the Indians — burning 
prisoners at the stake — that he determined to give his 
voice against the horrid custom. The young reformer 
first displayed his commanding eloquence in his bold con- 
demnation of the practice, which through his powerful 
influence gradually disappeared. He advocated total 
abstinence from ardent spirits, the principal source of 
savage degradation and destruction, and urged his people 
to drop all superfluous ornaments, and abstain from the 
use of articles sold by the traders. Like his illustrious 
namesake, our hero, he was mighty in speech as well as 
in the battle-field. I will give in illustration a brief ad- 
dress made August 12th, 1810, to Governor Harrison, 
whom he met in council at Vincennes, on the Wabash 
Riyp- The fine words and grand views of the warrior, 
will you think of our own Tecumseh marching 

over the very co£iitry from which the ancestors of the 
Shawanoese came : 

" I have made myself what I am ; and I would that 
I could make the red people as great as the conceptions 
of my mind, when I think of the Great Spirit that rules 
over all. I would not then come to Governor Harrison 
to ask him to tear the treaty ; but I would say to him, 
Brother, you have liberty to return to your own country. 
Once there was no white man in all this country ; then it 
belonged to red men, children of the same parents, placed 



20 LIFE OF GENEKAL SHERMAN. 

on it by the Great Spirit to keep it, to travel over it, to 
eat its fruits, and fill it with the same race — once a happy 
race, but now made miserable by the white people, who 
are never contented, but always encroaching. They have 
driven us from the great salt water, forced us over the 
mountains, and would shortly push us into the lakes ; but 
we are determined to go no further. The only way to 
stop this evil is for all the red men to unite in claiming 
a common and equal right in the land, as it was at first 
and should be now — for it never was divided, and belongs 
to all. No tribe has a right to sell, even to each other, 
much less to strangers, who demand all, and will take no 
less. The white people have no right to take the land 
from the Indians, who had it first — it is theirs. They 
may sell, but all must join. Any sale not made by all is 
not good. The late sale is bad ; it was made by a part 
only. Part do not know how to sell. It requires all to 
make a bargain for all." 

This upright, humane, and unequalled warrior, after 
struggling in vain to save his declining race, fell gloriously 
during the last war with England, in the battle of the 
Thames, not many miles from Detroit, on the Canada side. 

His American namesake, by a singular course of 
providential events, as you know and will read in the 
record of his life more fully, became the greatest military 
commander of the age, in the very region from which, 
with his people, he emigrated to the West. 



LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 21 

I will now take you to the place of William Tecum- 
seli's birth. Lancaster is in Fairfield County, Ohio, on 
the Hockhocking River, twenty-eight miles east of Colum- 
bus, the capital of the State. The valley is very beau- 
tiful. It was the home of the Wyandots less than a 
century ago, and was called Tarh or Crowtown, from the 
name of the principal chief. His wigwam was on the 
bank-border of a prairie, near a clear and living spring, 
from whose gushing waters he slaked his thirst for many 
years. 

In 1800 a Mr. Fane laid out Lancaster on Mount 
Pleasant, called by the Indians, who at that time still 
lingered there, " Standing-Stone," because the summit 
was formed of masses of sandstone. It was a place of 
popular resort on account of the extensive and magnificent 
views of the surrounding country. Duke Saxe Weimar, 
who travelled in this country about forty years since, 
carved his name on its rock. 

For several years after Lancaster was settled, the 
people had a curious regulation, of which I must tell 
you, and something like which woulcl not be a bad ar- 
rangement at the present day. Stumps of the forest trees 
so lately there, were scattered along the streets ; and when 
a man was caught intoxicated, the penalty was, the re- 
moval of a stump. The drunkards and the stumps both 
were thinned out ; for whenever a citizen went stagger- 
ing among the remnants of the primeval woods, he was 



22 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

watched till sober enough to go to work, then set to dig- 
ging at the roots. Tipplers were careful to walk abroad 
in straight lines ; and if one failed to keep within the 
limits of temperate drinking, he must take good exercise 
at the stump, which was both a public exposure and a 
blessing to the village. 

Lancaster is now a handsome city, full of western ac- 
tivity, and keeping step to the music — 

" Westward the star of empire takes its way." 

Such was and is the birthplace of William Tecumseh 
Sherman. 



CHAPTER II. 

The Eventful Call—" Cump " in the Sandbank — The Unexpected Summons- 
He obeys — His new Home — School days — A Studious and Eeliable Boy — 
Is appointed Cadet — Leaves Home for AYest Point — His Life in the Acad- 
emy — Graduates and goes to Florida. 

^OTHER,, may I go and play in the sand ? " 
said a bright boy one day, cap in hand, 
ready to bonnd into the open air. Almost 
before the expected "yes" had ceased to 
echo in the room, " Cump," as he was 
familiarly called, hastened to a bank in which excavations 
had been made, and the sand taken aAvay. He was soon 
"busy as a bee," throwing up miniature fortifications 
and heaps in various forms, after the models of his own 
juvenile invention. 

Meanwhile the distinguished Hon. Thomas Ewing, 
now the venerable representative of the statesmen of the 
past, a resident of Lancaster, entered the widowed 
mother's dwelling. He knew that the benevolent and 
departed father had not left her large family a fortune. 




24: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

It would therefore be no easy task to educate and start 
them in the world. And his errand there was to ask her 
to commit one of the boys to his home and care. He 
said, with a playful earnestness, " I must have the smart- 
est of the lot ; I will take no other, and you must select 
him for me." After a short consultation between the 
mother and eldest daughter, the choice fell upon " Cump." 
So it was decided that Mr. Ewing should take him to his 
house and educate him with his own children. 

Leaving the mother and sister saddened with the 
prospect of parting with the boy, he went to the sand- 
bank, where we just now left William at play. " Come, 
my boy," said the unexpected visitor, " you are going to 
live with me. I have seen your mother ; she has given 
her consent." 

The astonished little worker listened, and looked a mo- 
ment at his benefactor, then straightened up, brushed off 
the sand, and started after him. That night he went to 
his bed in his new and beautiful home with strange 
thoughts, and a shadow upon his young spirit. He had 
left mother and the home of his childhood for life, only 
as an occasional visitor. It was a crisis in his history, 
and one which decided in the result his brilliant martial 
career. The public schools, which are now the pride of 
our land, were not then known in Ohio. But Lancaster 
could boast a good academy, and into its English depart- 
ment Tecumseh was entered as a pupil. He had reached 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 25 

his ninth year, and soon convinced his teacher and com- 
panions that he could take a high rank among the boy* 
students of his age. 

Mr. Ewing assured me that there was nothing remark- 
able or eccentric in his experience during the years that 
followed, excepting his executive ability in little matters of 
business committed to him. He " never knew so young 
a boy who would do an errand so correctly and promptly 
as he did. He was transparently honest, faithful, and 
reliable. Studious and correct in his habits, his progress 
in education was steady and substantial." At the age 
of sixteen, Mr. Ewing, in his official position, had at 
his disposal the appointment of a cadet to the Military 
Academy at West Point, and determined to offer it to his 
"protege." Tecumseh had a taste for military life, and 
of course gladly accepted the honor. 

Before we follow him to that institution we will take 
another glimpse of the home of his adoption. Mrs. 
Ewing was a highly intelligent lady, a member of the 
Eoman Catholic Church, and had the privilege of edu- 
cating her children in her own faith. Her daughter 
Ellen was at this time an attractive girl of nearly the 
same age of Tecumseh. For half a dozen of life's most 
careless, happy years, they had been to school, talked and 
played together. And it is not strange that among the 
friends he left behind him, when he turned the second 
time from home, and now for a distant abode among 



28 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

strangers, that to part with her should be no common 
trial for his young and manly heart. But he had entered 
for himself 

" Upon life's broad field of battle," 

and hastened to the ordeal of examination for admission 
to the academy. The bright day of trial has come. Look 
in upon the spacious hall where the Examining Board and 
distinguished visitors have gathered, to see and hear what 
the young candidates for freshman honors may know. 
Now listen ; young Sherman's name is called. He is 
modest, yet perfectly self-possessed. After answering a 
test question with remarkable propriety and dignity, a 
professor remarked-: " He is a Hooded fellow!" that is, 
he was of good blood — had the ingrained qualities of 
manliness, and the promise of honorable distinction. 
This was in the summer of 1836. He advanced from 
class to class, mastering the studies in the course, and 
maintaining a high reputation in all his relations to the 
officers and students of the academy. He was quite at 
home in artillery, which you know is the handling of 
heavy guns ; and in the saddle at the riding school of the 
institution. He graduated fifth in his class June 30th,. 
1840. The rebel General Beauregard was a classmate. 

You have learned that, as a man, he loses no time in 
his military movements. Created second lieutenant in 
the Third Artillery, he repaired to Florida in the service 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAjS". 27 

of the regular army. When the autumnal leaves rustled 
in the war-path, he was fairly in the ranks and under the 
old flag, which he was destined to honor so well, and with 
whose stars his name would shine while it floats over the 
land of his birth. 




CHAPTER III. 

The Lieutenant in the Florida War— Its Origin — The " Exiles " — Seminole In- 
dians — Osceola — Ilis wife made prisoner — The second Seminole "War — "Wild 
Cat's Daughter — Peace — Lessons of the events before and after. 

HEN Lieutenant Sherman reached the South- 
ern peninsula, our war with the " exiles" and 
Seminoles had been in progress about five 
years. " Who were the ' exiles ? ' " you ask. 
In answering that question I shall give you 
some account of the Florida wars, in which many of our 
West Point graduates have been actors ; among them 
Generals Grant, Mitchel, and Sherman. And I shall let 
a distinguished statesmen, who has recently died,* and 
who wrote a book about the " exiles," tell you some in- 
teresting things concerning these people. 

" Florida was originally settled by Spaniards in 1558. 
They were the first people to engage in the African slave 
trade, and sought to supply other nations with servants 

* Hon. Joshua E. Giddings. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 29 

from the coast of Guinea. The colonists held many 
slaves, expecting to accumulate wealth by the unrequited 
toil of their fellow-men. 

" Carolina, by her first and second charters, claimed a 
vast extent of country, embracing St. Augustine and most 
of Florida. Here was the first occasion for hostilities, the 
conflicting claims to jurisdiction, of the Spaniards and the 
colonies. The Carolinians also held many slaves. Profit- 
ing by the labor of their servants, the people sought to 
increase their wealth by enslaving the Indians who re- 
sided in their vicinity. Hence in the early slave codes 
of that colony we find reference to ' negro and other 
slaves.' 

" When the boundaries of Florida and South Carolina 
became established, the colonists found themselves sep- 
arated by the territory now constituting the State of 
Georgia, at that time mostly occupied by the Creek 
Indians. The efforts of the Carolinians to enslave the 
Indians brought with them the natural and appropriate 
penalties. The Indians soon began to make their escape 
,from service to the Indian country. This example was 
soon followed by the African slaves, who also fled to the 
Indian country, and, in order to secure themselves from 
pursuit, continued their journey into Florida. 

" We are unable to fix the precise time Avhen the per- 
sons thus exiled constituted a separate community. Their 
numbers had become so great in 1736 that they were 



30 LIFE OF GENESAL SHESMAN. 

formed into companies, and relied on by the Floridians aa 
allies to aid in the defence of that territory. They were 
also permitted to occupy lands upon the same terms that 
were granted to the citizens of Spain ; indeed, they in all 
respects became free subjects of the Spanish crown. 
Probably to this early and steady policy of the Spanish 
Government, we may attribute the establishment and 
continuance of this community of ' exiles ' in that territory. 
A messenger was sent by the Colonial Government of 
South Carolina to demand the return of those fugitive 
slaves who had found an asylum in Florida. The de- 
mand was made upon the Governor of St. Augustine, 
but was promptly rejected. This w .s the commence- 
ment of a controversy which has continued for more than 
a century, involving our nation in a vast expenditure of 
blood and treasure, and it yet remains undetermined. 
The constant escape of slaves, and the difficulties result- 
ing therefrom, constituted the principal object for estab- 
lishing a free colony between South Carolina and Florida, 
which was called Georgia. It was thought that this 
colony, being free, could afford the planters of Carolina 
protection against the further escape of their slaves from 
service. These ' exiles' were by the Creek Indians called 
' Seminoles,' which in their dialect signifies * runa- 
ways,' and the term being frequently used while con- 
versing with the Indians, came into almost constant 
practice among the whites ; and although it has nov/ 



LIFE OF GEXE5AE SHE&MAH, 31 

some to be applied to a certain tribe of Indians, vet it was 
originally used in reference to these ^ exiles' long before 
the Seminole 'Indians had separated from the Creeks." 

These " exiles," once slaves, had settled in rich val- 
leys, and had their flocks, and herds, and children around 
them. The great State of Georgia did not like to see 
this paradise of escaped bondmen prosper. Indeed, she 
looked with covetous eye upon every foot of Indian terri- 
tory within her limits, and seems to have early decided, 
with or without the national sanction and help, to take 
possession of the "exiles," and of the lands belonging to 
the Aborigines. The first thing was to get Florida from 
Spain, then seize the " exiles." 

Such influences were brought to bear upon Congress, 
that in secret session a law was passed in 1811 to wrest 
the territory from the authority of Spain. And now 
commenced the invasion of that country by the most 
desperate men. It was like the outrage upon " bleeding 
Kansas" since. 

The Seminoles had refused to surrender the "exiles," 
and the Georgians determined to exterminate them. 
This injustice and cruelty opened the first war with the 
Seminoles. Hostilities continued for many years, at- 
tended with deeds of savage heroism, scenes of horror 
and of death, till many an American soldier found a 
grave in the gloomy everglade and dark river channel. 
At lenjjth there was a pause in the terrible border war- 



32 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

fare. Outrages by the white people continued. " exiles" 
were captured, treaties broken, and the effort renewed to 
remove the Seminoles to the western territory. Upon 
a certain day when a consultation was held over a speech 
addressed by the Secretary of State, General Cass, 
urging emigration, a youthful warrior, named "Osceola," 
since very famous, drew his burnished knife from his 
belt, and said, while striking it into the table before him, 
" This is the only treaty I will ever make with the whites.'" 
It was a threat of war again, soon realized. He was the 
son of an Indian trader, a white man named Powell. 
His mother was the daughter of a Seminole chief. He 
had recently married a woman said to have been very 
"beautiful." She was the daughter of a chief who had 
married one of the "exiles," but as all colored people, by 
slaveholding laws, are said to follow the condition of the 
mother, she was called an African slave. Osceola was 
proud of his ancestry. He hated slavery, and those who 
practised the holding of slaves, with a bitterness that is 
but little understood by those who have never witnessed 
its revolting crimes. He visited Fort King in company 
with his wife and a few friends, for the purpose of trading. 
Mr. Thompson, the agent, was present, and while en- 
gaged in business, the wife of Osceola was seized as a 
slave. Evidently having negro blood in her veins, the 
law pronounced her a slave ; and, as no other person 
could show title to her, the pirate who had got possession 



LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. S3 

of her body, was supposed, of course, to be her owner. 
Osceola became frantic with rage, but was instantly 
seized and placed in irons, while his wife was hurried 
away to slaveholding pollution. He remained six days 
in irons, when, General Thompson says, he became peni- 
tent, and was released. From the moment when this 
outrage was committed, the Florida War may be re- 
garded as commenced. Osceola swore vengeance upon 
Thompson, and those who assisted in the perpetration of 
this indignity upon himself, as well as upon his wife, and 
upon our common humanity. The " exiles" endeavored to 
stimulate the Indians to deeds of valor. In general 
council they decreed that the first Seminole who should 
make any movement preparatory to emigration, should 
suffer death. Charley E. Mathlu, a respected chief, soon 
after fell a victim to this decree. Osceola commanded 
the party who slew him. He had sold a portion of his 
cattle to the whites, for which he had received pay in 
gold. This money was found upon his person when he 
fell. Osceola forbade any one touching the gold, saying 
it was the price of the red man's blood, and with his own 
hands he scattered it in different directions as far as he 
was able to throw it. But his chief object appeared to 
have been the death of General Thompson. Other 
Indians and u exiles" were preparing for other important 
operations, but Osceola seemed intent — his whole soul was 
absorbed in devising some plan by which he could safely 
3 



34: LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

reach Mr. Thompson, who was the object of his ven- 
geance. He, or some of his friends, kept constant watch 
on the movements of Thompson, who was unconscious of 
the danger to which he was exposed. Osceola, steady to 
his purpose, refused to be diverted from this favorite ob- 
ject. Thompson was at Fort King, and there were but 
few troops to protect that fortress. But Indians seldom 
attempt an escalade, and Osceola sought an opportunity 
to take it by surprise. With some twenty followers he 
lay secreted near the fort for days and weeks, determined 
to find some opportunity to enter by the open gate, when 
the troops should be off their guard. Near the close of 
December, 1835, a runner brought him information that 
Major Dade, with his command, was to leave Fort 
Brooke on the twenty-fifth of that month, and that those 
who intended to share in the attack upon that regiment, 
must be at the great " Wahoo Swamp" by the evening of 
the twenty-seventh. This had no effect whatever upon 
Osceola. No circumstance could withdraw him from the 
bloody purpose which filled bis soul. 

" On the twenty-eighth, in the afternoon, as he and his 
followers lay near the road leading from the fort to the 
house of the sutler, which was nearly a mile distant, they 
saw Mr. Thompson and a friend approaching. That 
gentleman and his companions had dined, and, on taking 
their cigars, he and Lieutenant Smith, of the second ar- 
tillery, had sallied forth for a walk and to enjoy conver- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 35 

sation by themselves. At a signal given by Osceola, the 
Indians fired. Thompson fell pierced by fourteen balls ; 
Smith received about as many. The shrill war-whoop fol- 
lowed the sound of the rifles, and alarmed the people at 
the fort. The Indians immediately scalped their victims, 
and then hastened to the house where Mr. Rogers, the 
sutler, and two clerks, were at dinner. These three per- 
sons were instantly massacred and scalped. The Indians 
took as many valuable goods as they could carry, and set 
fire to the building. The smoke gave notice to those in 
the fort of the fate that had befallen the sutler and his 
clerks. But the condition in which the commandant 
found his troops forbade his sending out any considerable 
force to ascertain the fate of Thompson and his com- 
panion. Near nightfall a few daring spirits proceeded 
up the road to the hommock, and brought the bodies to 
the fort, but Osceola and his followers had hastened their 
flight, not from fear of the troops, but with the hope of 
joining their companions at Wahoo in time to engage in 
scenes of more general interest." 

The election campaign for President occurred the 
very fall Lieutenant Sherman went to Florida. Martin 
Van Buren was defeated, and there was no greater cause 
of it than the continuance of the Florida war, wasting 
precious life and treasure. You will be interested in the 
story of Wild Cat's daughter. He was the son of King 
Philip, a Seminole chief, and became himself one of the 



36 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

mighty leaders in the Indian struggle for existence. Not 
far from the time young Sherman went to the field of 
conflict, the daughter of Wild Cat, " an interesting girl 
of twelve years of age, fell into the hands of our troops 
in a skirmish near Fort Mellon. This was regarded as a 
most fortunate circumstance, as it would be likely to pro- 
cure an interview with the father. Miceo, a sub-chief 
and friend of Wild Cat, was despatched with a white flag, 
on which were drawn clasped hands in token of friend- 
ship, with a pipe and tobacco. He found Wild Cat, and 
delivered the message of the commanding-general, re- 
questing an interview. Wild Cat agreed to come in, and 
gave Miceo a bundle of sticks, denoting the days which 
would elapse before he appeared in camp. Miceo re- 
turned and made his report. 

" On the fifth of March Wild Cat was announced as 
approaching the American camp with seven of his trusty 
companions. He came boldly within the line of sentinels, 
dressed in the most fantastic manner. He and his party 
had shortly before killed a company of strolling theatrical 
performers, near St. Augustine, and having possessed 
themselves of the wardrobe of their victims, put it on. 
He approached the tent of General Worth, calm and self- 
possessed, and shook hands with the officers. He then 
addressed the general without hesitation and with dignity, 
saying he had received the talk and white flag sent him. 
He had come according to invitation to visit the American 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 37 

camp with peaceful intentions, relying upon his good 
faith. 

" At this moment his little daughter escaped from the 
tent where she was to remain till General Worth should 
think the proper time to present her to her father had 
come. With the feelings and habits of her race, she gave 
him musket balls and powder which she had managed to 
obtain and secret until his arrival. On seeing his child 
he could no longer command that dignity of bearing so 
much the pride of every Indian chief. His self-possession 
gave way to parental emotions ; the feelings of the father 
gushed forth ; he averted his face and wept. 

" Having recovered his self-possession he addressed 
General Worth, saying : ' The whites dealt unjustly by 
me. I came to them, when they deceived me. I loved 
the land I was upon ; my body is made of its sands. The 
Great Spirit gave me legs to walk over it ; eyes to see it ; 
hands to aid myself; a head with which I think. The 
sun, which shines warm and bright, brings forth our 
crops ; and the moon brings back the spirits of our war- 
riors, our fathers, our wives and children. The white 
man comes ; he grows pale and sickly ; why can we not 
live in peace? They steal our horses and cattle, cheat 
us, and take our lands. They may shoot us — may chain 
our hands and feet, hut the red man's heart will he free. 
I have come to you in peace, and have taken you all by 
.he hand. I will sleep in your camp, though your soldiers 



38 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN". 

stand around me thick as pine trees. I am done : when 
we know each other better, I will say more.' 

" During the interview, Wild Cat spoke with great 
sincerity ; frankly stated the condition and feelings of his 
people ; stated the friendly attachment between the ' exiles' 
and Indians ; said that they would not consent to be sep- 
arated ; that nothing could be done until their annual 
assemblage in June, to feast on the green corn ; that, hard 
as the fate was, he would consent to emigrate, and would 
use his influence to induce his friends to do so. After re- 
maining four days in camp, he and his companions left, 
accompanied by his little daughter, whom he presented to 
her mother on reaching his own encampment." 

Young Sherman was created first lieutenant Novem- 
ber, 1841, and soon after the war closed, followed by the 
removal of the " exiles " to the country beyond the State 
of Arkansas, joining the Creeks there. 

There are two very interesting facts you will think of 
in this glimpse of the early experience of our cadet- 
soldier. The first is, the real beginning of the great 
rebellion, in the unjust and oppressive claims of the 
Southern States upon other races, and upon our national 
legislation. The other curious fact is the awful desola- 
tion of that leading State in this wrong, Georgia, by the 
lieutenant, more than a score of years afterwards, in the 
defence of our own imperilled liberties. 




CHAPTER IV. 

Lieutenant Sherman in Fort Moultrie — The Fortress— The Mexican "War— Ha 
goes to California— His Service there — Appointed Captain— His Marriage- 
Exciting Scenes in California — In the Commissary Department — Resigns 
his Commission — Turns Banker. 

,IEUTENANT SHERMAN was next ordered to 
Fort Moultrie, on Sullivan's Island, in Charleston 
harbor. Do you know the origin of that fortress 
and of its name ? Six days before the Declara- 
tion of Independence was signed, there was a 
memorable battle and victory here, over the British 
squadron commanded by Sir Peter Parker. A post had 
been commenced, which, upon the appearance of the fleet 
was hastily completed, under the command of General 
Moultrie, a very brave officer. 

General Charles Lee, the commander-in-chief at this 
post, urged Moultrie to abandon the works, because the 
men-of-war would soon blow them to pieces. " Then we 
will fight behind the ruins," said the gallant leader of a 
band, who answered his bold words with a " hurrah I" 



40 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

The battle opened, and soon the American flag, which 
was then a white crescent on a ground of blue, went 
down. The spectators at a distance thought the post 
had surrendered. But no — the flag-staff was shot off, 
and Sergeant William Jasper leaped through the em- 
brasure of the wall, and seizing it, restored it to its place 
on the battlements. He was a young hero, and his name 
is among those of the daring defenders of the first banner 
of the Revolution. 

In this fortress Lieutenant Sherman had an unexciting 
round of duty. But more active service was near. If 
you will turn to the map of the United States you will 
see that the boundary between Texas and Mexico on the 
south, runs northwesterly toward the Pacific Ocean, 
where lies California, bounded on the southern side by 
Mexico. "When war followed the dispute between the 
United States and the Mexican Government about the 
dividing line, in 1846, it was necessary to have troops in 
California. With the forces sent to that new and thinly- 
settled region, Lieutenant Sherman went under the ban- 
ner he loved with all the enthusiasm of his ardent nature. 
The fighting was principally done, you know, at Palo 
Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Molino del Rey, 
and a few other points far from the post of Sherman. 
But he did his duty in the ranks of the frontier-guard, 
and was off on recruiting service when those fierce battles 
were fought. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 41 

California had been for many years under the Govern- 
ment of Mexico. The people rebelled against Santa 
Anna, asserted their independence, but again submitted 
to the old authority. In 1842 its rich plains attracted 
emigration from all lands, which increased rapidly till 
war with Mexico was declared. General Fremont was 
there. A quarrel began between the Mexican people and 
the settlers. This was increased by the conflict of the 
two nations, which resulted in our establishing a territo- 
rial government. The whole was ceded to the United 
States at the close of the war for $15,000,000, and be- 
came a State in 1850. "With the flood of population from 
many countries, before and after Lieutenant Sherman went 
there, lawlessness of all kinds prevailed. Gambling was a 
common business, incendiarism equally so, and justice was 
almost unknown, even in the Government. Men were 
shot in open day for giving offence ; the people became 
alarmed, and appointed a vigilance committee, who took 
law into their own hands. Our still youthful officer op- 
posed such assumption of power, believing in redress for 
wrongs through the constitutional remedies. And often 
since the civil war commenced has he beguiled the weary 
hours of camp-life by recounting the exciting scenes of 
those wild days of California life. He saw a calmer period 
of history there. The vigilance committee at length sur- 
rendered its power to the State Government, and Cali- 
fornia has taken her place among the noblest of our com- 



42 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN 

monwealths, loyal to the flag in the darkest hour of 
strife. 

California gold ! You have heard of the mania for 
the mines it created all over our land when the boy now 
sixteen was in his cradle. But you may not know what 
a chance to make a fortune Lieutenant Sherman had in 
that territory — that he saw the small begining of the 
excitement. He was dining, February 8th, 1848, with 
Captain Sutter, of Sacramento, who was building a saw- 
mill. The workmen opened a sluice to wash out the 
" tail-race," when lo ! there was gold in the sand. A 
specimen was brought into the room where the officers sat, 
and pronounced to be the precious particles, which have 
since attracted the fortune-hunters of every land under 
the sun. But the lieutenant quietly returned to his post, 
and left to others the great discovery. 

The rough experiences in southern and western forests 
— watching the stealthy Indians, and riding through peril- 
ous and difficult paths — were fitting him for work which 
would attract the admiring interest of the world. So 
well did he improve his opportunities to serve his country 
and perfect himself in military science, that his farther 
promotion to a captaincy was ordered while on the Pacific 
coast. The war closed in the winter of 1848, and the 
treaty of peace was signed in February of that year. 
The life of a " regular " in the army became monotonous. 
Garrisons and surveys occupied the troops. But there 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKHAN. - 43 

came, two years later, an interesting change in the social 
relations of Captain Sherman. 

The friend he left with so much regret when he bade 
adieu to Lancaster, Ohio, for a home at West Point, Miss 
Ellen B. Ewing, attracted the gallant young soldier's 
steps from the round of martial duty. In the spring of 
1850 he led her to the altar of marriage, in Washington, 
D. C, where the bride's father, the Hon. Thomas Ewing, 
has spent much of his long life in Congress, and in the 
Cabinet. Two of the greatest statesmen in this or any 
other nation, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, were 
guests on the occasion, also General Zachary Taylor. 
Not many weddings in the Republic can boast of so many 
distinguished persons among the spectators of the cere- 
monies, offering their congratulations to the happy pair. 

Captain Sherman was for a period connected with the 
Commissary Department of the Army. Its duties are 
the furnishing of the various supplies for the troops. 
Tired of the quiet and tameness of the service, in 1853 
he resigned his commission, and retired to private life. 
That well-known and wealthy citizen of St. Louis, Mr. 
Lucas, proposed to establish a banking-house in San 
Francisco, under the name of " Lucas, Turner & Co.," 
at the head of which was placed Captain Sherman. 

We have come to a singular turn in his history. 
The cadet has been from the Florida swamps to the 
mountains of the northern border, rising in position, 



4A: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 

and steadily, honorably pursuing the object immediately 
before him, till tired of an almost useless existence, as it 
seems, in the army, he is at length a gentlemanly banker 
in the principal city of the " golden coast." Days, weeks, 
months, and years, find him in the comparatively quiet 
round of business affairs. He is at home in the material 
condition and politics of the country ; for he is familiar 
always with the current events of the times. The faithful 
boy at errands, is the trusty soldier and banker also. No 
stain rests on the record of his success in life. 




CHAPTER V. 



Takes charge of a Military Academy in Alexandria, Louisiana — He sees the 
rising storm of Civil War— Resigns— A noble Letter — He repairs to St Louis, 
and superintends a Street Eailroad. 



^APTAIN SHERMAN, of the house of Lucas, 
Turner & Co., was not unsuccessful in the 
banking-office ; but it was not suited to his cul- 
ture and taste, and he was without large capital. 
It is not strange, therefore, that when, in 1860, 
he was offered the presidency of the Louisiana State Mili- 
tary Academy at Alexandria, on a salary of five thousand 
dollars per annum, he should accept the honorable position* 
You know that, besides the national institution for 
discipline in the art of war, there are smaller schools of a 
similar character in several of the States, besides private 
enterprises of great merit. The Academy at Alexandria 
was organized in 1860, and intended to accommodate two 
hundred cadets. Whether the State had reference to the 
possibility of a collision with the Government in this 



4:6 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

preparatory work we do not know, but are sure that 
the chief officer had no thought of serving the cause of 
revolt in taking its management. The town is situated on 
the Red River, nearly in the centre of the State, three hun 
dred and fifty miles from New Orleans, which lies south' 
east of it, and down the Mississippi. 

Louisiana is a great cotton-growing State, and Alex- 
andria is in one of the richest portions of the wide plains 
skirting the stream which poured its flood into the mag- 
nificent tide of the " Father of Waters." It is beautifully 
situated in the midst of cotton plantations, which, like 
snow-fields in summer, spread away in every direction 
from the village. Here the professor was directing his 
genius and attainments to carry out the wishes of the 
founders of the school, when the first ominous sounds of 
rebellion followed the election of Abraham Lincoln. 

He knew the Southern feeling well. The intercourse 
with the people of the cotton States, from the association 
at "West Point with their sons to that hour, convinced 
him of what we at the North were slow to believe, that 
they were determined to have their own way or fight. 
His clear judgment and forecast caught the signal of rev- 
olution in the stormy councils and secession resolutions 
which succeeded the political revolution. The evil spirit, 
of rebellion was in the very atmosphere about him. 
There was hot blood, even in the recitation- rooms of the 
Academy. The year 1860 closed over a purpose which 



/ 

LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 47 

had slowly but steadily matured, to leave the institution 
iu which he had just begun to feel at home, and was fully 
qualified to manage. It had cost him anxious thought. 
But far in advance, as he has been ever since, in his views 
of the true issue — the men and the measures we must 
meet — he was sure a sanguinary struggle was at hand. 
It saddened his heart, but nerved his strong hand to grasp 
the starry banner and enter the arena of carnage and 
victory. 

Thus decided in his convictions and loyalty, he did 
not wait for the thunder of cannon around Fort Sumter. 
He wrote the following manly, strong, and patriotic letter, 
which tells its own glorious story : 

"January 18, 1861. 
" Gov. Thomas 0, Moore, Baton Rouge, La. 

" Snt : — As I occupy a ^waswnilitary position under 
this State, I deem it proper to acquaint you that I accepted 
such position when Louisiana was a State in the Union, 
and when the motto of the seminary was inserted in mar- 
ble over the main door, ' By the liberality of the General 
Government of the United States : The Union. Esto Per- 
petua' 

" Recent events foreshadow a great change, and it be- 
comes all men to choose. If Louisiana withdraws from 
the Federal Union, I prefer to maintain my allegiance to 
the old Constitution as long as a fragment of it survives, 
and my longer stay here would be wrong in every sense 



48 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

of the word. In that event, I beg you will send or ap- 
point some authorized agent to take charge of the arms 
and munitions of war here belonging to the State, or di- 
rect me what disposition should be made of them. 

" And furthermore, as President of the Board of Su- 
pervisors, I beg you to take immediate steps to relieve 
me as superintendent the moment the State determines to 
secede ; for on no earthly account will I do any act, or 
think any thought, hostile to or in defiance of the old 
Government of the United States. 

" With great respect, &c, 

" (Signed) W. T. Sherman." 

What a scorching rebuke is that in the first para- 
graph ! How sublimely loyal the sentiments of the last ! 

The resignation was accepted. The professor turned 
his back upon his cadets and upon Louisiana, till he shall 
return under the torn and blackened flag of conquest. Re- 
pairing to St. Louis, he had no employment for his brain 
or hands. But he was ready for any honest work. Mr. 
Lucas, one of the millionaires of the city, offered him the 
office of superintendent of a street railroad, on a salary 
of two thousand dollars a year. He at once entered upon 
its duties, without a regret that he had abandoned the 
halls of military science and a larger reward for his 
labor. 

My young reader, it is a lesson for all ages aad all 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAif. 49 

times. Embrace the providential openings for reputable 
and useful labor, without regard to the present applause 
or the favor of the busy multitude about you. Think of 
the brave Captain — the educated instructor — managing 
the affairs of a city horse-railway ! Then think of the 
host of young men, who would rather starve, or gamble, to 
keep up the appearance of wealth and position, rather 
than go down in the world's estimate of what is respect- 
able and fashionable, and you will admire the truly heroic 
character of the gifted Sherman. 



CHAPTER VI. 

Sumter falls — Sherman repairs to "Washington — His Interview with the Secre- 
tary of War and the President— His Prophetic Insight of the Threatening 
Times — The state of the Country — Eebel Expectations. 

^asns^)HE traitorous Secretary of War, John B. Floyd, 
jHsi k ac * not ^ ost s *S nt °f tne probable uprising of 

*5fK> tne S° ut h at no distant period, for a moment, 
during all ©f his official career. Every fort on 
her soil was made an easy prey to her rebellious 
hand by reducing their garrisons. 

The magnificent Fortress Monroe, on which the 
United States had expended nearly two and a half mil- 
lions, could muster only eight companies of artillery. 
The forts, Moultrie, Pinckney, and Sumter, of Charleston 
harbor, had only eighty men, who were in Fort Moultrie. 

And yet, had you been in the Halls of Congress when 
Mr. Clarke, of New Hampshire, offered a resolution of 
inquiry into the condition of those defences, you would 
have heard a storm of apparently virtuous indignation 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAST. 51 

from Jefferson Davis and his fellow-conspirators, as if 
the intimation of treachery were an insult to Southern 
chivalry. 

A week later General Anderson and his hand, loyal 
to the national banner, having become assured that their 
capture with Fort Moultrie was designed, after destroy- 
ing its equipment as far as possible, stole at dead of night 
from its walls and floated over the waters to silent Sum- 
ter, whose massive battlements promised a safer refuge 
from the passions of infatuated men. The rebels imme- 
diately seized Forts Moultrie and Pinckney ; and ten days 
later the Star of the West, an unarmed steamer convey- 
ing a reenforcement of two hundred and fifty soldiers and 
supplies for the destitute garrison, was fired upon from 
newly-erected earthworks. 

The spring came with flowers and birds, but the 
angry storm of rebellion beat around Sumter with in- 
creasing fury. Iron-clad batteries had risen on every 
hand to cut off the approach of our ships, and grim ord- 
nance now pointed toward the old fortress. 

April 12th a messenger approached it with a very 
brief message to Major Anderson ; it was, " Surrender ! " 
The reply was nearly as short : " His sense of honor and 
his obligations to the Government would prevent com- 
pliance." 

A few hours after, and " boom ! boom ! " was the 
sound, followed with shot and shell, against Sumter's 



52 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

walls, which opened a bloody civil war. In the iron hail 
the fort was scarred, and its ground covered with explod- 
ing shells. At length the band, one-third the number of 
the famous warriors at Thermopylae, against ten thou- 
sand, saw the hopelessness of resistance, and made hon- 
orable terms to themselves, of surrender. Every tele- 
graphic wire in the land, North and South, trembled to 
the tidings of the battle hour. 

The Hon. Thomas Ewing wrote Charles Taylor Sher- 
man, of "Washington, the brother of William Tecumseh, 
to use his influence to get the latter again into the army. 
He felt that he was, and would he needed. The iDtelli- 
gent, patriotic mind of the captain did not require light 
for action, but only opportunity. 

Our railroad superintendent at St. Louis thought that 
all observant people must see that a terrible conflict had 
begun, and like Grant in Galena, left his office to offer 
his services to the Government, and his life, if that should 
be the sacrifice, included in their acceptance. He hastened 
to the nation's capital. Soon after reaching Washington 
he called on Secretary Cameron. 

" Mr. Secretary, civil war is imminent, and we are 
unprepared for it. I have come to offer my services to 
the country in the struggle before us." 

" I think," replies Mr. Cameron, " the ebullition of 
feeling will soon subside, we shall not need many troops." 

Indeed the Secretary was quite surprised, if not an- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 53 

noyed, at the earnestness of Captain Sherman. He next 
sought an interview with the President, and made a simi- 
lar statement and offer to him: The good President was 
inclined to take the whole thing as a joke. After listen- 
ing to the serious enthusiasm expressed in the strong ap- 
peal, he replied, pleasantly : " We shall not need many 
more like you ; the whole affair will soon blow over." 

He left the Chief Magistrate of a republic whose very 
existence he knew was assailed, with a shadow of disap- 
pointment on his brave, loyal spirit — not for himself, but 
for the cause near his heart. Friends then advised him 
to go to Ohio and superintend the organization of three 
monilis' men there. He declared " it would be as wise 
to undertake to extinguish the flames of a burning build- 
ing with a squirt gun, as to put down the rebellion with 
three months' troops." 

To talk of any thing less than a gigantic war was to 
him absurd. But he was then nearly alone in his just 
estimate of the struggle. 



CHAPTER VII. 

The Conflict Deepens— The Captain is made Colonel of the Thirteenth New York 
Volunteers— The Battle of Bull Eun— The unterrified Commander of the 
Thirteenth and his Troops— The Brave Stand. 

,NSTEAD of "blowing over," the storm of rebel- 
lion grew darker, and extended toward every point 
of the horizon. The appointment of Captain Sher- 
man to an important command was discussed and 
urged by those who knew him. And what do you 
think he said? You recollect our Lieutenant-General, 
when he asked the privilege of serving his country, de- 
clined a generalship because too modest to aspire to its 
honors. The lamented Major-General Mitchel desired 
any place, however humble, where he might defend the 
Stars and Stripes. And said the gallant Sherman : " I 
do not wish a prominent place ; this is to be a long and 
bloody war." 

Real ability to achieve, and moral worth, are never 
boastful and impatient to astonish the people. Even the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 55 

great rebel General Lee, in a letter recently published, 
urges the same unassuming, calm performance of present 
duty upon his son : quoting as an illustration the " old 
Puritan," who in the early period of our legislation, when 
the day suddenly became outwardly dark, as if the sun 
had disappeared from the heavens, causing a pause of 
alarm, some fearing the judgment-day was at hand, called 
for a light, saying he wished to proceed to business, and 
be found at his post of duty when the final catastrophe 
came. This is good counsel for us all, though from a 
rebel's pen. 

General McDowell, who was then one of our most 
popular commanders, seems to have had a just appre- 
ciation of Sherman. He wanted his services ; and on 
the 13th of June, 1861, offered him the colonelcy of the 
Thirteenth Infantry in the regular army, the command 
dating May 14th of that year. 

A month of preparation for the field passed, and the 
first great meeting of the opposing armies summoned him 
to the war-path. July 16th, General McDowell, with 
thirty-two thousand five hundred men, moved in four 
divisions upon Manassas, through which lay the route to 
Richmond, the capital of Virginia and of the Confed- 
eracy. From Arlington Heights, Long Bridge, and Alex- 
andria, the troops marched proudly forward, anticipating 
an early victory. 

Never before, my young reader, did a large army go 



56 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 

to the plain of carnage with hearts so light and gay— " as 
if on a pic-nic excursion." It was a splendid, and to 
most of the troops a novel spectacle, that march upon the 
"sacred soil" of the " Old Dominion," to the animating 
notes of " The Star Spangled Banner" and other national 
airs. July 21st, the Sabbath day, the signals of battle 
were seen in our lines, regardless of the hallowed time, 
and confident of an almost bloodless conquest. 

Colonel Bowman, one of General Sherman's officers 
since, and a faithful friend, has given a clear and unvar- 
nished story of his part in the affray : 

" The enemy had planted a battery on Warrenton 
turnpike, to command the passage of Bull Run, and 
seized the stone bridge which crossed it, erecting a heavy 
abatis to prevent our advance in that direction. The 
object of the battle was to force this position, with a view 
to subsequent operations beyond. The army engaged was 
commanded by Brigadier-General McDowell. The fourth 
division was left in the rear. The first, second, third, and 
fifth were commanded respectively by Brigadier-General 
Tyler, and Colonels Hunter, Heintzelman, and Miles. In 
the plan of battle, Miles was to be in reserve on the Cen- 
treville Ridge ; Tyler was to advance directly in front of 
Stone Bridge, on the "Warrenton road, and cannonade the* 
enemy's batteries ; Hunter and Heintzelman were to move 
to the right and cros3 the run above, and get to the ene- 
my's rear. Colonel Sherman commanded the third bri- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 57 

gade in Tyler's (first) division- consisting of troops since 
renowned for gallantry — Captain Ayres' Regular Battery, 
the Thirteenth, Sixty-ninth, and Seventy-ninth New York, 
and Second Wisconsin infantry. 

" The advance was commenced on the morning of the 
21st, and a part of Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions, 
according to McDowell's official report, ' forced the enemy 
back far enough to allow Sherman's and Keyes's brigades 
of Tyler's division to cross from their position on the 
Warrenton road. These drove the right of the enemy, 
understood to have been commanded by Beauregard, 
from the front of the field, and out of the detached woods, 
and down the road, and across it, up the slopes on the 
other side.' Pressing on, these two brigades, with the 
two divisions on the right, came upon an elevated ridge 
or table of land. Here was the severest fighting of the 
famous battle. Sherman led his brigade directly up the 
Warrenton road, and held his ground till the general 
order came to retreat. It will be the verdict of history 
that the fighting at Bull Run was no more disgraceful to 
us than the unsuccessful fighting of the French at Water- 
loo. It was the disorganized rout after the day was done 
that showed that our army was as yet but an undisciplined 
rabble. The day was lost partly by the delay in attack, 
but chiefly by the arrival of reinforcements under John- 
ston, when victory was already in our hands. General 
Patterson was the Grouchy of our Waterloo. 



58 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" One fact in the battle has hitherto escaped comment. 
The orders of Tyler's division were to cross Bull Run, 
when possible, and join Hunter on the right. This was 
done, Sherman leading off, with the Sixty-ninth New 
York in advance, and encountering a party of the enemy 
retreating along a cluster of pines. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Haggerty, of the Sixty-ninth, without orders, rode over 
to intercept their retreat, and was shot dead by the 
enemy. Furious at his loss, the Sixty-ninth sprang for- 
ward and opened fire, which was returned. ' But,' says 
Sherman, ' determined to effect our junction with Hunter's 
division, I ordered the fire to cease, and we proceeded 
with caution toward the field, where we then plainly 
saw our forces engaged.' Turning to Colonel Burnside's 
official report, we shall find that he was at this time over- 
whelmingly pressed by the enemy. It was a critical 
juncture. At length Major Sykes's battalion of regulars 
came up, and staggered the enemy, and at the same mo- 
ment Sherman came marching over the hill. ' It was 
Sherman's brigade,' says Burnside, ' that arrived at about 
twelve and a half o'clock, and by a most deadly fire as- 
sisted in breaking the enemy's lines.' So much for sol- 
dierly promptness and strict obedience to orders. From 
the vigor with which Sherman fought his brigade, the 
loss in his four regiments was one hundred and five 
killed, two hundred and two wounded, two hundred and 
ninety-three wounded or missing, with six killed and 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 59 

three wounded in the battery, making a total of six hun- 
dred and nine, the whole division losing eight hundred 
and fifty-nine. The loss of the army, excluding prisoners 
and stragglers, was computed thus : killed, four hundred 
and seventy-nine ; wounded, eleven hundred and eleven ; 
total killed and wounded, fifteen hundred and ninety. 
When the conduct of Sherman had become known, the 
Ohio delegation in Congress unanimously urged his im- 
mediate promotion. This was easily effected, and on the 
3d of August, 18C1, he was confirmed a brigadier-general 
of volunteers." 

Colonel Sherman's brigade was the only one which 
retired from the field in order, making a stand at the 
bridge on the track to Washington, to dispute bravely 
" the right of way," should the enemy pursue our panic- 
stricken forces toward the capital. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



General Sherman goes to Kentucky — Muldraugh's Hill— His army weakened — 
General Buckner's superior force— Succeeds General Anderson — "Writes 
General McClellan— Interview with Secretary Cameron— Paducah. 



WAY on the borders of Kentucky the tramp of 
war was heard. The hero of Sumter, General 
Anderson, was in command of the department. 
With the advent of autumn, the Union Home 
Guards of Kentucky, with other troops, had 
gathered to the banks of the Roiling Fork of Salt River 
— a branch two hundred feet wide and only three feet 
deep. Two miles from the road crossing lie the Mul- 
draugh's Hills, rising in romantic outline. Half way 
upon the ascent runs the railroad, whose bridge i3 
trestle-work ninety feet high ; it then enters Tunnel Hill, 
emerging into an open plain. 

General Buckner, the rebel commander, was at Bowl 
ing Green, looking toward Louisville, where he boasted 
he would spend the winter. General Sherman was sent 




LIFE OF GENES AL SHEEMAM". 61 

to join General Anderson, the second in command, and 
moved his force to Muldraugh's Hills. Buckner had 
burned the bridge ; the Home Guards were withdrawn ; 
and the enemy's troops numbered twenty-five thousand. 
To retire to Eiizabethtown with the five thousand Union 
soldiers was the best that General Sherman could do. 

At this crisis General Anderson resigned his command 
on account of ill health, and the mantle of authority fell 
on General Sherman ; no very desirable honor at that 
time, for "most of the fighting young men of Kentucky 
had gone to join the rebels. The non-combatants were di- 
vided in sentiment, and most of them far from friendly. 
He lacked men, and most of those he had were poorly 
armed. He lacked, also, means of transportation and 
munitions of war ; and if the rebel generals had known 
his actual condition, they could have captured or driven 
his forces across the Ohio in less than ten days. He ap- 
plied earnestly and persistently for reinforcements, and, 
at the same time, took every possible precaution to 
conceal his weakness from the enemy, as well as from 
the loyal public. At that time newspaper reporters 
were not always discreet, and often obtained and pub- 
lished the very facts that should have been concealed. 
He issued a stringent order excluding all reporters and 
correspondents from his lines. This brought down upon 
him the indignation of the press. More unfortunately 
still, he failed to impress the Secretary of "War with the 



62 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

necessities of his position and the importance of holding 
it. On the 3d of November he telegraphed to General 
McClellan the condition of affairs, with the number of his 
several forces, showing them to be everywhere, except at 
one single point, outnumbered, and concluded his despatch 
with the emphatic remark, ' Our forces are too small to 
do good, and too large to be sacrificed.' 

" In reply, General McClellan asks, ' How long could 
McCook keep Buckner out of Louisville, holding the rail- 
road, with power to destroy it inch by inch ? ' — giving no 
hint of a purpose to send reenforcements, but looking to 
the probable abandonment of Kentucky. Previous to this, 
General Sherman had had an interview with Secretary 
Cameron, in presence of Adjutant-General Thomas, at 
Lexington, Kentucky, and fully explained to him the sit- 
uation of his command, and also of the armies opposed 
to him ; and, on being asked what force was necessary for 
a successful forward movement in his department, an- 
swered, ' Two hundred thousand men.' By the 1st of 
November, Adjutant-General Thomas's official report of 
this conversation, in all its details, was published in most 
of the newspapers of the country, giving the enemy full 
knowledge of many important facts relating to General 
Sherman's department. He was too weak to defend his 
lines ; and the enemy knew it. Hf had no hope of rein- 
forcements, and, withal, was evidently in discredit with 
the War Department, as being too apprehensive of the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 63 

power, strength, and resources of the enemy. He, there- 
fore, felt he could not successfully conduct the campaign, 
and asked to be relieved. He was succeeded by General 
Buell, who was at once reenforced, and enabled to hold 
his defensive positions until Grant, the following spring, 
should advance down the Mississippi and up the Cum- 
berland. 

" General Sherman was now set down as ' crazy,' and 
quietly retired to the command of Benton Barracks, near 
St. Louis. The evidence of his insanity was his answer 
to the Secretary of Welt — that to make a successful advance 
against the enemy, then strongly posted at all strategic points 
from the Mississippi to Cumberland Gap, would require an 
army two hundred thousand strong ! The answer was the 
inspiration or the judgment of a military genius ; but to 
the mind of 2.ir. Secretary Cameron it was the prophecy 
of a false wizard. 

" It has been said of the Spaniards, c that they gen- 
erally managed to have an army when they had no 
general, and a general when they had no army ; ' and 
during the first years of the war we surpassed in folly 
their example. It was vainly expected the rebellion 
could effectually be put down without either a general 
or an army, by a mere flourish of trumpets — as if the 
foundations of the Confederacy, like the walls of Jericho, 
would yield and fall at the blowing of a ram's horn. Sub- 
sequent events have sufficiently vindicated General Sher- 



64 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

man's opinion expressed in his reply to the Secretary of 
War. 

" Meantime General Halle ck succeeded to the com* 
mand of the Department of the "West, and General Sher- 
man was not long allowed to remain in charge of a re- 
cruiting-rendezvous at St. Louis. When General Grant 
moved on Fort Donelson, Sherman was intrusted with 
the forwarding to him of reinforcements and supplies 
from Paducah. General Grant subsequently acknowl- 
eged himself ' greatly indebted for his promptness ' 
in discharging that duty. After the capture of that 
stronghold, General Sherman was put in command of 
the fifth division of Grant's army at Pittsburg Land- 
ing. At the same time Beauregard was industriously 
collecting the rebel forces at Corinth, a strong strategic 
point, well fortified, thirty miles distant. Grant had 
moved up from Fort Donelson, and Buell was on his 
way." 

How grandly General Grant .and Commodore Foote 
did their work at Forts Henry and Donelson ! What 
deeds of valor were performed by our Yfestern boys, 
whose couch at night was the snowy earth, reddened with 
the blood of carnage ! 

But while that storm of conflict was raging, an offi- 
cer who had no superior, and longed to enter its perils 
and glory for his native land and his own loyal West, 
was patiently, and " without observation," sending, with 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 65 

an intelligent appreciation of what was needed, and re- 
markable promptness, supplies for the heroes of the great 
border battles. General Grant knew the value of that 
service, and warmly expressed in his despatches his 
"indebtedness to General Sherman" for his activity, his 
timely and indispeu sable aid, apart from the bloody field. 

My reader will recollect that the fall of Fort Donel- 
son, about the middle of February, 1862, startled the 
whole of " rebeldom." The strongest fortress in the 
West was taken. The next position in importance was 
Corinth, because at the junction of the Memphis' and 
Charleston and the Mobile and Ohio Railroads. Mem- 
phis, the enemy knew, must soon be the prize for which 
our victorious troops would strike. 

" Corinth must be defended ! " was the cry from the 
South. General Beauregard, the hero of Sumter and 
Bull Run, hastened to the field of conflict, to lend the 
power of his name and generalship to the cause of 
treason. 

General Grant had moved the gunboats after the sur- 
render of Fort Donelson down the Cumberland and up 
the Tennessee River to Pittsburg Landing, making Sa- 
vannah, ten miles distant, his own headquarters. 

General Buell, with the Army of the Ohio, was march- 
ing toward this point to join him, from the pursuit of 
General Johnston through Nashville. The rebel officers 

decided to concentrate their forces, by the railroads in 
5 



66 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

their possession, unexpectedly upon the Union army before 
Buell could get there, and after annihilating it, turn upon 
him and scatter his battalions. The enemy kept his 
counsels well, while preparing to hurl his legions upon 
our columns. 




CHAPTER IX. 

Pittsburg Landing— The Surprise — The Battle — The Victory— Sherman's glo- 
rious part in the Struggle — The Testimony of Officers — His Letter on 
the Contest. 

ITTSBURG- is the nearest point to Corinth on 
the river, three miles from which, in the sparsely 
settled country, is the old log building called 
Shiloh Church — a dilapidated sanctuary of prim- 
itive, or rather backivoods style. Around this 
desolate place of former worship lay General Sherman's 
division, bordering both sides of the lower road to 
Corinth. 

Sunday morning, April 6th, the fifty thousand men 
or more, under such leaders as Beauregard, Johnston, 
Breckinridge, and Polk, fell upon the army of the Re- 
public, emerging from their forest paths like spectres in 
the early light. " Carleton," who was there, and care- 
fully went over the field of conflict to know all that was 
done, thus notices our hero : 

" Sherman's pickets were being driven back by the 



68 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

rapid advance of the rebel lines. It was a little past sun- 
rise when they came in, breathless, with startling accounts 
that the entire rebel army was at their lieels. The officers 
were not out of bed. The soldiers were just stirring, 
rubbing their eyes, putting on their boots, washing at the 
brook, or tending their camp kettles. Their guns were 
in their tents ; they had a small supply of ammunition. 
It was a complete surprise. Officers jumped from their 
beds, tore open the tent-flies, and stood in undress to see 
what it was all about. The rebel pickets rushed up within 
close musket range and fired. 

" ; Fall in ! Form a line ! here, quick ! ' were the 
orders from the officers. 

" There was running in every direction. Soldiers for 
their guns, officers for their sabres, artillerists to their 
pieces, teamsters to their horses. There was hot haste, 
and a great hurly-burly. 

" General Hardee made a mistake at the outset. In- 
stead of rushing up with a bayonet charge upon Sherman's 
camp, and routing his unformed brigades in an instant, 
as he might have done, he unlimbered his batteries and 
opened fire. 

" When the alarm was given General Sherman was 
instantly on his horse. He sent a request to McClernand 
to support Hilderbrand. He also sent word to Prentiss 
that the enemy were in front, but Prentiss had already 
made the discovery, and was contending with all his 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 69 

might against the avalanche rolling upon him from the 
ridge south of his position. He sent word to Hurlbut 
that a force was needed in the gap between the church 
and Prentiss. He was everywhere present, dashing along 
his lines, paying no attention to the constant fire aimed 
at him and his staff by the rebel skirmishers, within short 
musket range. They saw him, knew that he was an 
officer of high rank, saw that he was bringing order out 
of confusion, and tried to pick him off. While galloping 
down to Hilderbrand, his orderly, Halliday, was killed. 

" Sherman tried to hold his position by the church. 
He considered it to be of the utmost importance. He did 
not want to lose his camp. He exhibited great bravery. 
His horse was shot, and he mounted another. That also 
was killed, and he took a third, and, before night, lost his 
fourth. He encouraged his men, not only by his words 
but by his reckless daring. Captain Behr had been posted 
on the Purdy road with his battery, and had had but little 
part in the fight. He was falling back, closely followed 
by Pond. 

" 4 Come into position out there on the right/ said 
Sherman, pointing to the place where he wanted him to 
unlimber. Then came a volley from the woods. A shot 
struck the captain from his horse. The drivers and gun- 
ners became frightened and rode off with the caissons, 
leaving five unspiked guns to fall into the hands of the 
rebel* ! Sherman and Taylor, and other officers, by 



70 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

their coolness, bravery, and daring, saved Buckland's and 
McDowell's brigades from a panic ; and thus, after four 
hours of hard fighting, Sherman was obliged to leave his 
camp anc! fall back behind McClernand, who now was 
having a fierce fight with the brigades which had pushed 
in between Prentiss and Sherman." 

You shall hear from the general's fellow-officers about 
his appearance and gallantry on this terrible field of strife. 
A brave cavalry officer said of him : " Having occasion 
to report personally to General Sherman, about noon of 
the first day of Shiloh, 1 Tound him dismounted, his arm 
in a sling, his hand bleeding, his horse dead, himself 
covered with dust, his face besmeared with powder and 
blood. He was giving directions at the moment to Major 
Taylor, his chief of artillery, who had just brought a 
battery into position. Mounted orderlies were coming 
and going in haste ; staff officers were making anxious 
inquiries ; everybody but himself seemed excited. The 
battle was raging terrifically in every direction. Just 
then there seemed to be universal commotion on our 
right, where it was observed our men were giving back. 
' I was looking for that,' said Sherman, * but I am ready 
for them.' His quick, sharp eye flashed, and his war- 
begrimed face beamed with satisfaction. The enemy's 
packed columns now made their appearance, and as 
quickly the guns which Sherman had so carefully placed 
in position began to speak. The deadly effect on the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMATT. 71 

enemy was apparent. While Sherman was still man- 
aging the artillery, Major Sanger, a staff officer, called 
his attention to the fact that the enemy's cavalry were 
charging toward the battery. * Order up those two com- 
panies of infantry,' was the quick reply, and the general 
coolly went on with his guns. The cavalry made a gal- 
lant charge, but their horses carried back empty saddles. 
The enemy was evidently foiled. Our men, gaining fresh 
courage, rallied again, and for the first time that day the 
enemy was held stubbornly in check. A moment more 
and he fell back over the piles of his dead and wounded." 

General Rousseau, a division officer of Buell's Army 
of the Cumberland, speaks of him in the following hand- 
some manner : 

" He gave us our first lessons in the field in the face 
of an enemy ; and of all the men I ever saw he is the 
most untiring, vigilant, and patient. No man that ever 
lived could surpass him. His enemies say that he was 
surprised at Shiloh. I tell you no. He was not sur- 
prised nor whipped, for he fights by the week. Devoid 
of ambition, incapable of envy, he is brave, gallant, and 
just. At Shiloh his old legion met him just as the battle 
was ended ; and at the sight of him, placing their hats 
upon their bayonets, gave him three cheers. It was a 
touching and fitting compliment to the gallant chieftain. 
1 am thankful for this occasion to do justice to a brave, 
honest, and knightly gentleman." 



72 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Nor did he escape the attention of his commanding 
officer. General Grant, in a letter to the War Depart- 
ment, under date of July 25, 1863, said: 

" At the battle of Shiloh, on the last day, l^e held, 
with raw troops, the key point of the landing It is no 
disparagement to any other officer to say that I do not 
believe there was another division commander on the 
lield who had the skill and experience to have done it. 
To his individual efforts I am indebted for the success of 
that battle." 

"Writes Colonel Bowman : "He formed his first line 
of battle on the brow of a hill, or rather ridge, on the 
west of Lick and Owl Creeks, which served as a natural 
fortification. The men, by lying down or retiring a few 
steps, were well covered, and, by rising and advancing a 
few paces, could deliver their fire with terrible effect. 
But his troops were mostly green, and wholly untrained 
in the art of war. The rebel onset was well directed, 
rapid, and most persistent. Some of Sherman's regi- 
ments broke and fled, while others fought like veterans. 
The fight soon became general ; Beauregard hurled his 
massed columns with great impetuosity against our at- 
tenuated lines, which, though yielding to the pressure, 
did not break. The rebels gained ground inch by inch, 
but could do no more than compress the semicircle of our 
line of battle. Beauregard had promised his troops to 
drive us into the Tennessee that day before three o'clock, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 73 

but nightfall found him contemplating the chances of 
successful retreat ; for Buell had arrived. Sherman's 
conduct on that day showed him to be a man of the first 
order of military talent. He was not disconcerted by 
the panic among his green troops, and, indeed, had ex- 
pected it. All he asked was, that a reasonable number 
should remain and obey orders ; and in an American 
army there can always be found a goodly proportion (5f 
officers and men incapable of being cowards under any 
circumstances. With such he did battle on the 6th of 
of April, 1862 — a day long to be remembered, as the 
day of the battle of Shiloh. There was not a command- 
ing general on the field who did not rely on Sherman, 
and look to him as our chief hope ; and there is no ques- 
tion that but for Sherman our army would have been de- 
stroyed. He rode from place to place, directing his 
men ; he selected from time to time the positions for his 
artillery ; he dismounted and managed the guns ; he sent 
suggestions to commanders of divisions ; he inspired ev- 
erybody with confidence ; and yet it never occurred to him 
that he had accomplished any thing worthy of remark." 

General Nelson, a few days before his death, in con- 
versation with Larz Anderson and two or three other 
gentlemen, said : " During eight hours, the fate of the 
army on the field of Shiloh depended on the life of one 
man : if General Sherman had fallen, the army would 
have been captured or destroyed." 



74: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 

General Halleck, in his despatch to the Secretary of 
War, recommending General Sherman for promotion, 
said of him : " It is the unanimous opinion here that 
Brigadier-General W. T. Sherman saved the fortunes of 
the day on the 6th of April, and contributed largely to 
the glorious victory of the 7th. He was in the thickest 
of the fight on both days, having three horses killed un- 
der him, and being wounded twice. I respectfully re- 
quest that he be made a major-general of volunteers, to 
date from the 6th instant." 

Acting upon this recommendation, General Sherman 
was promoted to the rank designated, to date from May 
1st, 1862. 

I shall give you now a letter of considerable length, 
written by General Sherman himself about the battle. 
Some of my readers may not care to read it all ; but it 
should have a place in the annals of his life, because it is 
one of many illustrations of his power with the pen, and 
is also his honest and truthful record of the great contest 
at Pittsburg Landing : 

"Headquarters Military Division Mississippi. 
" Professor Henry Coppee, Philadelphia : 

" Dear Sir : In the June number of the United 
States Service Magazine I find a brief sketch of Lieuten- 
ant-Gcneral U. S. Grant, in which I see you are likely to 
perpetuate an error, which General Grant may not deem 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 75 

of sufficient importance to correct. To General Buell's 
noble, able, and gallant conduct you attribute the fact 
that the disaster of April Cth, at Pittsburg Landing, was 
retrieved, and made the victory of the following day. 
As General Taylor is said in his later days to have 
doubted whether he was at the battle of Buena Vista at 
all, on account of the many things having transpired 
there, according to the historians, which he did not see, 
so I begin to doubt whether I was at the battle of Pitts- 
burg Landing of modern description. But I was at the 
battles of April 6th and 7th, 1862. General Grant vis- 
ited my division in person about ten a. m., when the bat- 
tle raged fiercest. I was then on the right. 

" After some general conversation, he remarked that 
I was doing right in stubbornly opposing the progress of 
the enemy ; and, in answer to my inquiry as to car- 
tridges, told me he had anticipated their want, and given 
orders accordingly ; he then said his presence was more 
needed over at the left. About two p. m. on the 6th, 
the enemy materially slackened his attack on me, and 
about four p. m. I deliberately made a new line behind 
McArthur's drill field, placing batteries on chosen ground, 
repelled easily a cavalry attack, and watched the cautious 
approach of the enemy's infantry, that never dislodged 
me there. I selected that line in advance of a bridge 
across Snake Creek, by which we had all day been ex- 
pecting the approach of Lew. Wallace's division from 



76 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Crump's Landing. About five p. m., before the sun set, 
General Grant came again to me, and, after hearing my 
report of matters, explained to me the situation of affairs 
on the left, which were not as favorable. Still the en- 
emy had failed to reach the landing of the boat. 

" We agreed that the enemy had expended the furore 
of his attack, and we estimated our loss, and approxi- 
mated our then strength, including Lew. Wallace's fresh 
division, expected each minute. He then ordered me to 
get all things ready, and at daylight the next day to as- 
sume the offensive.. That was before General Buell had 
arrived, but he was known to be near at hand. General 
Buell's troops took no essential part in the first day's 
fight, and Grant's army, though collected together hastily, 
green as militia, some regiments arriving without cart- 
ridges even, and nearly all hearing the dread sound of 
battle for the first time, had successfully withstood and 
repelled the first day's terrific onset of a superior enemy, 
well commanded and well handled. I know I had orders 
from General Grant to assume the offensive before I knew 
General Buell was on the west side of the Tennessee. I 
think General Buell, Colonel Fry, and others of General 
Buell's staff, rode up to where I was about sunset, about 
the time General Grant was leaving me. General Buell 
asked me many questions, and got of me a small map, 
which I had made for my own use, and told me that by 
daylight ho could have eighteen thousand fresh men, 
whid I knew would settle tho matter. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. Y7 

" I understood Grant's forces were to advance on the 
right of the Corinth road and Buell's on the left, and ac- 
cordingly at daylight I advanced my division by the flank, 
tie resistance being trivial, up to the very spot where the 
day before the battle had been most severe, and then 
waited till near noon for Buell's troops to get up abreast, 
when the entire line advanced and recovered all the 
ground we had ever held. I know that with the excep- 
tion of one or two struggles, the fighting of April 7th was 
easy as compared with that of April 6th. 

" I never was disposed, nor am I now, to question 
any thing done by General Buell and his army, and know 
that, approaching our field of battle from the rear, he en- 
countered that sickening crowd of laggards and fugitives 
that excited his contempt and that of his army, who never 
gave full credit to those in the front line, who did fight 
hard, who had, at two p. m., checked the enemy, and were 
preparing the next day to assume the offensive. I re- 
member the fact the better from General Grant's anec- 
dote of the Donelson battle, which he told me then for 
the first time — that, at a certain period of the battle, he 
saw that either side was ready to give way if the other 
showed a bold front, and he determined to do that very 
thing, to advance on the enemy, when, as he prognosti- 
cated, the enemy surrendered. 

" At four p. m. of April 6th, he thought the appearances 
the same, and he judged, with Lew. Wallace's fresh 



78 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

division, and such of our startled troops as had recovered 
their equilibrium, he would be justified an dropping the 
defensive and assuming the offensive in the morning. 
And, I repeat, I received such orders before I knew 
General Buell's troops were at the river. I admit that I 
was glad Buell was there, because I knew his troops were 
older than ours, and better systematized and drilled, and 
his arrival made that certain which before was uncertain. 
I have heard this question much discussed, and must say 
that the officers of Buell's army dwelt too much on the 
stampede of some of our raw troops, and gave us too 
little credit for the fact that for one whole day, weakened 
as we were by the absence of Buell's army, long expected, 
of Lew. Wallace's division, only four miles off, and of 
the fugitives from our ranks, we had beaten off our as- 
sailants for the time. At the same time our Army of the 
Tennessee have indulged in severe criticism at the slow 
approach of that army which knew the danger that threat- 
ened us from the concentrated armies of Johnston, Beau- 
regard, and Bragg, that lay at Corinth. 

" In a war like this, where opportunities for personal 
prowess are as plenty as blackberries, to those who seek 
them at the front, all such criminations should be frowned 
down ; and were it not for the military character of your 
journal, I would not venture to offer a correction to a 
very popular error. 

" I will also avail myself of this occasion to correct 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 79 

another very common mistake in attributing to General 
Grant the selection of that battle-field. It was chosen by 
that veteran soldier, Major-General Charles F. Smith, 
who ordered my division to disembark there, and strike 
for the Charleston Railroad. This order was subse- 
quently modified by his ordering Hurlbut's division to 
disembark there, and mine higher up the Tennessee to 
the mouth of Yellow Creek, to strike the railroad at 
Burnsville. But floods prevented our reaching the rail- 
road, when General Smith ordered me in person also to 
disembark at Pittsburg Landing, and take post well out, 
so as to make plenty of room, with Snake and Lake 
Creeks the flanks of a camp for the grand army of inva- 
sion. % 

"It was General Smith who selected that field of 
battle, and it was well chosen. On any other we surely 
would have been overwhelmed, as both Lick and Snake 
Creeks forced the enemy to confine his movements to a 
direct front attack, which new troops are better qualified 
to resist than where flanks are exposed to a real or chi- 
merical danger. Even the divisions of that army were 
arranged in that camp by General Smith's orders, my 
division forming, as it were, the outlying pickets, whilst 
McClernand's and Prentiss's were the real line-of-battle, 
with W. H. L. Wallace in support of the right wing, and 
Hurlbut on the left ; Lew. Wallace's division being de- 
tached. All these subordinate dispositions were made by 



80 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

the order of General Smith, before General Grant suc- 
ceeded him in the command of all the forces up the 
Tennessee — headquarters, Savannah. 

" If there were any error in putting that army on the 
west side of the Tennessee, exposed to the superior force 
of the enemy also assembling at Corinth, the mistake was 
not General Grant's ; but there was no mistake. It was 
necessary that a combat, fierce and bitter, to test the 
manhood of the two armies, should come off, and that 
was as good as any. It was not then a question of mili- 
tary skill and strategy, but of courage and pluck, and I 
am convinced that every life lost that day to us was 
necessary ; for otherwise at Corinth, at Memphis, at 
Vicksburg, we would have found harder resistance, had 
we not shown our enemies that, rude and untutored as 
we then were, we could fight as well as they. 

" Excuse so long a letter, which is very unusual for 
me ; but of course my life is liable to cease at any mo- 
ment, and I happen to be a witness to certain truths 
which are now beginning to pass out of memory, and 
form what is called history. 

u I also take great pleasure in adding that nearly all 
the new troops that at Shiloh drew from me official cen- 
sure have more than redeemed their good name ; among 
them that very regiment which first broke, the Fifty-third 
Ohio, Colonel Appen. Under another leader, Colonel 
Jones, it has shared every campaign and expedition of 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 81 

mine since, is -with me now, and can march, and bivouac, 
and fight as well as the best regiment in this or any 
army. Its reputation now is equal to that of any from 
the State of Ohio. 

" I am, with respect, yours truly, 

"W. T. Sherman, Major-General." 

Rarely for young and old is there a finer example of 
Professor Longfellow's words in the Psalm of Life — 

" Learn to labor and to wait," 

than this part of General Sherman's career affords. He 
did his work well, and two years afterwards the military 
genius, unrecognized then by the country, filled the land 
with his praise. 



CHAPTER X. 

The Morning after the Battle— General Sherman's column in Motion— What it 
did— Corinth the next Goal— The Siege— The Evacuation— General Sher- 
man's troops the first to enter the Works — The Hero is made Major-Gen eral 
— Advance on Holly Springs — Memphis — General Sherman's successful 
Command in that City— The Guerrillas. 

y£^^T\HE eighth of April dawned upon the silent, san- 
(j-j|v% guinary field of recent conflict. Soon large 
S?j^o companies of men were moving from the Union 
camps with spades and other implements of 
burial, to lay in trenches the heaps of the 
slain. The weather was warm in that southern latitude, 
and General Grant hastened the work of interment alike 
of slaughtered friends and foes. 

General Beauregard wrote to our commander, request- 
ing leave to take rebel bodies from our lines under flag 
of truce ; but other hands were completing the sad labor 
for the disfigured, blood-stained, and pulseless warriors. 
Look away from that scene, after the battle, along the 

Corinth road, and you see the serried files of living men, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 83 

led by the unresisting Sherman, dashing along in hot 
pursuit of the enemy. The chief of the fifth division, 
■with a force of cavalry and two brigades of infantry, is 
in the war-p£th again. Suddenly appear the white tents of 
the abandoned camps of the enemy, and hospital flags are 
flying over them in the early breeze. What does it mean ? 
They are false signals, hung out to deceive the pursuing 
commander, and protect the deserted canvas cities. On- 
ward the sagacious, daring leader hurries after the foe. 

And now a shout rings from the lips of our " boys." 
The rebel cavalry are in sight. A few moments later 
swords cross, pistols crack, and horses rush together in 
the strife. Then the " graybacks" turn and fly, leaving 
the field, camps, and all, to our victorious ranks. The 
work of destruction followed. Tents, arms, ammunition, 
were mingled in a common ruin. The road for mile s 
was lined with wagons the foe were compelled to leave 
in their haste to get out of our way ; ambulances stood 
unused, although thousands of the mangled were in need 
of them ; limber-boxes, which belong to the guns, were 
also abandoned ; indeed, every thing showed a hurried 
retreat, which but for the cavalry in the rear to cover the 
flight of the infantry, would have been a complete rout of 
the enemy. 

The victor returned from his gallant exploit only to 
repeat it. The general advance toward Corinth imme- 
diately followed. The fifth division swept over the coun- 



84 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

try, which was arrayed in vernal verdure and bloom. 
The birds sang as sweetly as in any former spring-time, 
startled beside the highway only by the tramp of the 
marching host. « 

May 17th the first shock came. The division of 
General Grant's army under Sherman, met the rebels in 
a severe conflict on the road to Corinth. Tbey had to 
fall back before the human tide, crested with fire and 
steel. This brief contest only opened the way to the 
fortress of rebel strength. And the question was, How 
shall Corinth be taken ? It must either be by direct and 
bloody assault, or by siege, surrounding it, and com- 
pelling the imprisoned army to surrender. 

Beauregard watched with sleepless vigilance his foe. 
He ordered troops to intrench on a ridge near Philip's 
Creek and oppose the Union forces. General Jeff. C. 
Davis approached the works ; then, feigning a retreat, 
drew the garrison out, when a severe struggle defeated 
the enemy completely. This occurred May 21st; and, 
on the 27th, General Sherman also had a fight with the 
rebels. 

The decisive hour at length has come ; all is activity 
and excitement. "We cannot furnish you a more vivid 
description of the stirring and awfully sublime scenes of 
such a crisis in army operations, than one given in a letter 
from this field of conquest : 

" Regiments and artillery are placed in position, and, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 85 

generally, the cavalry is in advance ; but when the oppos- 
ing forces are in close proximity, the infantry does the 
work. The whole front is covered by a cloud of skirmish- 
ers, then reserves formed, and then, in connection with 
the main line, they advance. For a moment all is still 
as the grave to those in the background ; as the line 
moves on, the eye is strained in vain to follow the skir- 
mishers as they creep silently forward ; then, from some 
point of the line, a single rifle rings through the forest, 
sharp and clear, and, as if in echo, another answers it. 
In a moment more the whole line resounds with the din 
of arms. Here the fire is slow and steady, there it rattles 
with fearful rapidity ; and the whole is mingled with the 
roar of the reserves as the skirmishers are at any part 
driven in ; and if, by reason of superior force, these 
reserves fall back to the main force, then every nook and 
corner seems full of sound. The batteries open their ter- 
rible voices, and their shells sing horribly while winging 
their flight, and their dull explosion speaks plainly of 
death ; their canister and grape go crashing through the 
trees, rifles ring, the muskets roar, and the din is terrific. 
Then the slackening of the fire denotes the withdrawing 
of the one party, and the more distant picket firing that 
the work was accomplished. The silence becomes al- 
most painful after such a scene as this, and no one can 
conceive the effect who has not experienced it. The line 
of works was selected, and, at the word of command, 



86 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

three thousand men, with axes, spades, and picks, stepped 
out into the open field from their cover in the woods. In 
almost as short a time as it takes to tell it, the fence 
rails which surrounded and divided three hundred farm 
lots, were on the shoulders of the men, and on the way 
to the intended line of works. Then, as, for a time, the 
ditches deepen, the dirt is packed on the outer side, 
the bushes and all points of concealment are cleared 
from the front, and the centre divisions of our army has 
taken a long stride toward the rebel works. The siege 
guns are brought and placed in commanding positions. 
A log-house furnishes the hewn and seasoned timber 
for the platforms, and the plantation of a southern lord 
has been thus speedily transformed into one of Uncle 
Sam's strongholds, where the Stars and Stripes float 
proudly. 

" Soon after daylight, on Friday morning, the army 
was startled by rapid and long-continued explosions, simi- 
lar to musketry, but much louder. The conviction flash- 
ed across my mind that the rebels were blowing up their 
loose ammunition, and leaving. The dense smoke arising 
in the direction of Corinth strengthened this belief, and 
soon the whole army was advancing on a grand recon- 
noissance. The distance through the woods was short, 
and in a few minutes shouts arose from the rebel lines, 
which told that our army was in their trenches. Regi- 
ment after regiment pressed on, and passing through ex- 



LIFE OF GESTEKAL SHEEMAST. 87 

tensive camps just vacated, soon reached Corinth r and 
found half of it in flames." 

The troops under General Sherman were first in the 
works. Their columns, as we have seen, were conspicu- 
ous in the entire and triumphant progress from Shiloh, 
sustaining the heaviest blows, and bearing aloft proudly 
the banner of the republic. General Sherman was in 
subordinate command, but in his field of action he was 
the uniformly wise, shrewd, daring, and successful leader. 
Wrote General Grant : " His services as division com- 
mander in the advance on Corinth, I will venture to say, 
were appreciated by the new general-in-chief beyond any 
other division commander." He was appointed major- 
general of volunteers, dating from May 1st, 1862. 

Holly Springs, of which you will read more hereafter, 
is situated on the railroad from Jackson, Tennessee, to 
New Orleans. June 20th, General Sherman coolly re- 
lieved the rebels of its care, and took possession himself, 
burning long stretches of trestle-work on the Mississippi 
Central Railroad, to prevent an unpleasant surprise by the 
rebels. They had removed their machinery for making 
and repairing arms to Atlanta, Georgia, not dreaming of 
a visit to that city two years later by the division-general 
at Holly Springs. 

A few weeks after these events, July 11th, General 
Halleck was ordered to Washington in the high position 
of generalissimo of the Union armies, and a reorganiza- 



88 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

tion of them followed. General Grant was placed in 
command of the " Department of West Tennessee," 
covering a large territory bordering the Tennessee and 
Mississippi Rivers. Memphis, which had surrendered 
June 6th, was a" very important base of operations and 
supplies. But guerrillas and contraband traders infested 
the country around, making the city a dangerous haunt of 
traitors from the border-land. General Grant displayed 
his wisdom in sending General Sherman to the post, de- 
claring that he could the most effectually restore order and 
security to that disturbed district. Soon quiet reigned, 
guerrillas disappeared, and villanous traders went to more 
comfortable quarters. General Sherman did all and 
more than General Grant expected of him. He was 
just, humane, and yet severe in his administration, 
according to his views freely and often expressed ; that 
when people appeal to war for the settlement of claims, 
they must abide entirely by the "rules and consequences 
of so terrible a means of real or imaginary redress. His 
ideas were comprehensive, and, had they prevailed at an 
earlier period, our Government and commanders would 
have ended the civil strife long ago, we cannot doubt. 






CHAPTER XI. 

% 

General Sherman's next Post— The Steele's Bayou Expedition— A Trial of 
Courage — The Leader's Heroism. 

)0 secure the forces necessary for a new move- 
ment against Vicksburg, General Grant request- 
ed the War Department to reunite the thirteenth 
and fifteenth corps with his own. Accordingly, 
after the completion of the work of destruction 
of rebel defences and munitions at Arkansas Post, the 
troops reported to him at Memphis. 

The country was then excited over a quiet, and yet 
startling act of the Chief Magistrate — one which would 
be felt over the world, and through all ages — the Procla- 
mation of Emancipation ! General Grant immediately 
addressed himself to the enforcement of its provisions 
within the limits of his command. Thousands wept for 
joy ; thousands more trembled or cursed with alarm 
over the immortal document. Issuing his order in har- 
mony with it, he soon after removed a portion of his mag- 



90 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

nificent army to Young's Point, in Louisiana, and another 
at Milliken's Bend down the Mississippi River, taking 
up his headquarters at the former place, where General 
Sherman was also stationed with his troops. 

There was now a new device to get around Vicks- 
burg, and so open communication with forces below the 
city. Canals were tried, but heavy rains, and the troops 
being required to fight the floods rushing into camp 
and excavations, compelled the commander-in-chief to 
abandon the enterprise. Providence Lake and its connec- 
tions, and Yazoo Pass, were successively explored, and the 
effort made to find a ship-path through the wild region. 

Admiral Porter had been looking along the shores of 
the " Father of Waters," to see if he could discover a 
highway or byway for his gunboats. About the middle 
of March, 1862, he told General Grant that he was 
quite sure he could get through by Steele's Bayou, Black 
Bayou, to Duck Creek, thence to Deer Creek, into Poll- 
ing Fork, and down Sunflower River into the Yazoo, 
which empties into the Mississippi. 

General Grant and Admiral Porter proceeded on the 
experimental excursion over these dark bayous. " And 
what are they ? " you may ask. 

A bayou is a channel or outlet running from a river 
to other waters — sometimes it is an old bed of the stream 
— forming thus connections by which vessels can pass 
from one stream to another. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 91 

General Grant returned to Young's Point to send a 
pioneer corps to cut away moss-covered trees overhang- 
ing the waters, and obstructing the way. You can 
scarcely imagine the awful gloom and solitude of those 
tangled woods, whose drooping boughs and long plumes 
of moss sweep the surface of the dismal bayous. 

Admiral Porter soon found that the enemy were on 
his track, and might shut him into the wilderness. He 
therefore sent to General Grant for troops. The igno- 
rance of the country, and the difficult winding way, gave 
the rebels time to cut off the advance, and stop the bold 
travellers just when near their journey's end. 

General Sherman now appears in the adventure, or- 
dered forward by his chief, to help the admiral out of 
the perilous spot. 

The despatch from the Admiral having reached him 
March 21st, that the channel was obstructed, and the 
enemy six hundred strong, with field batteries disputing 
his advance, General Sherman, with the promptness 
and decision characteristic of his unsleeping martial 
spirit, issued his orders to the troops. They made a 
forced march, skirmishing part of the way, and reached 
the gunboats before night of the 22d, a distance of 
twenty-one miles, over a terrible road. But the brave 
fellows had learned that General Sherman always had 
a reason for his movements, and cheerfully advanced to the 
rescue through exhausting trial and peril. " During the 



92 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

day the enemy had been largely reenforced from the 
Yazoo, and now unmasked some five thousand men — in- 
fantry, cavalry, and artillery. The boats were sur- 
rounded with rebels, who had cut down trees before and 
behind them, were moving up artillery, and making every 
exertion to cut off retreat and capture our boats. A 
patrol was at once established for a distance of seven 
miles along Deer Creek, behind the boats, with a chain 
of sentinels outside of them, to prevent the felling of 
trees. For a mile and a half to Rolling Fork, the creek 
was full of obstructions. Heavy batteries were on its 
bank, supported by a large force. To advance was im- 
possible ; to retreat seemed almost hopeless. The gun- 
boats had their ports all closed, and preparations made 
to resist boarders. The mortar boats were all ready for 
lire and explosion. The army lines were so close to each 
other that rebel officers wandered into our lines in the 
dark, and were captured. It was the second night with- 
out sleep aboard ship, and the infantry had marched 
twenty-one miles without rest. Bat the faithful force, 
with their energetic leader, kept successful watch and 
ward over the boats and their valuable artillery. At 7 
o'clock that morning, the 22d, General Sherman re- 
ceived a despatch from the admiral, by the hands of a 
faithful contraband who came along through the rebel 
lines in the night, stating his perilous condition." 
He was now fairly shut up in the bayou by the rebels 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 93 

" The first firing of the gunboats was heard by 
General Sherman near the Shelby plantation. He urged 
his troops forward, and after an hour's hard marching, 
the advance, deployed as skirmishers, came upon a body 
of the enemy who had passed by the force which had 
been engaged. Immediately engaging them, the enemy 
stood a while disconcerted by the unexpected attack, 
fought a short time, and gave way. 

' ; The next effort of the rebels was to pass around 
our lines in the afternoon and night, and throw their 
whole force still further below us ; General Stuart, with 
four regiments, marched on Hill's plantation the same 
morning, having run his transports in the night, and im- 
mediately advanced one regiment up Deer Creek, and 
another still further to the right. The rebels, who were 
making a circuit about General Sherman, thus found the 
whole line occupied, and abandoned the attempt to cut 
off the gunboats for that day. During the afternoon the 
troops and gunboats all arrived at Hill's plantation. 

" There were destroyed by our troops and by the 
rebels at least two thousand bales of cotton, fifty thousand 
bushels of corn, and the gins and houses of the plantations 
whose owners had obstructed our progress, and joined in 
the warfare. The resources of the country we found 
ample to subsist the army at Vicksburg for some length 
of time, and by the destruction of them we crippled the 
enemy so far." 



94 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

The rescue of the admiral's force was next thing to a 
miracle : it was God's kind and timely interposition. A 
half hour's delay in the movements of Generals Sherman 
and Stuart, or of the second forced march of the former, 
and all would have been lost. In the hands of a less 
gifted and energetic leader, one of our bravest admirals, 
with his fleet, would have been taken by the rebels, who 
were confident of the prey and booty 



CHAPTER XII. 

The Position of the "Western Forces — The Expedition against Vickshurg under 
General Sherman — The Just and Stringent Orders of the Chief— He shows the 
Speculators no Mercy — The Advance of the Grand Army Checked — The Em- 
barkation of Troops — The Magnificent Pageant — The Frogress and Arrival of 
the Fleet. 

EFORE following our brave commander further 
in his war-path, let us survey the field of action 
in the West. The goal of patriotic ambition was 
now the " Gibraltar of the Father of Waters" — 
Vicksburg. The great w r ork of preparation to 
move went forward during the autumn and early winter 
under the eye of the patient, persistent Grant. 

December 22d, 1862, he issued an order dividing the 
troops into four army corps, stating that "the fifth division, 
Brigadier-General Morgan L. Smith commanding, the 
division from Helena, Arkansas, commanded by Brigadier- 
General Steele, and the forces in the district of Memphis, 
will constitute the fifteenth army corps, and be commanded 
by Major-General W. T. Sherman." Meanwhile, Gen- 
eral Sherman had been quietly put in command of his 




96 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

forces, and ordered to sail for Friar's Point, eighteen 
miles below Helena, and be ready to cooperate with the 
main body of troops under General Grant, in a combined 
movement on the stronghold. The former had been in 
the vicinty of the Tallahatchie River, making reconnois- 
sances, and was acquainted with that country by this per- 
sonal observation. He had issued an order of march 
which showed no mercy to speculators, and, as you will 
see, is marked with the clear thought and forcible words 
of its gif;ed author : 

" 1. The expedition now fitting out is purely of a mili- 
tary character, and the interests involved are of too impor- 
tant a nature to be mixed up with personal and private 
business. No citizen, male or female, will he allowed to ac- 
company it, unless employed as part of a crew or as ser- 
vants to the transports. Female chambermaids to the 
boats and nurses to the sick alone will be allowed, unless 
the wives of captains and pilots actually belonging to the 
boats. No laundress, officer's, or soldier's wife must pass 
below Helena. 

"2. No person whatever, citizen, officer, or sutler, 
will, on any consideration, buy or deal in cotton or other 
produce of the country. Should any cotton be brought 
on board of any transport going or returning, the brigade 
quartermaster, of which the boat forms a part, will take 
possession of it, and invoice it to Captain A. R. Eddy, 
Chief Quartermaster at Memphis. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 97 

" 3. Should any cotton or other produce be brought 
back to Memphis by any chartered boat, Captain Eddy 
will take possession of the same, and sell it for the benefit 
of the United States. If accompanied by its actual pro- 
ducer, the planter or factor, the quartermaster will fur- 
nish him with a receipt for the same to be settled for, on 
proof of his loyalty at the close of the war. 

" 4. Boats ascending the river may take cotton from 
the shore for bulkheads to protect their engines or crew, 
but on arrival at Memphis it will be turned over to the 
quartermaster, with a statement of the time, place, and 
name of its owner. The trade in cotton must await a 
more peaceful state of affairs. 

"5. Should any citizen accompany the expedition be- 
low Helena, in violation of these orders, any colonel of 
a regiment or captain of a battery will conscript him into 
the servive of the United States for the unexpired term of 
his command. If he show a refractory spirit unfitting 
him for a soldier, the commanding officer present will 
turn him over to the captain of the boat as a deck hand, 
and compel him to work in that capacity without w^ages 
until the boat returns to Memphis. 

" 6. Any person whatever, whether in the service of 
the United States or transports, found making reports for 
publication, which might reach the enemy, giving them 
information, aid, and comfort, will be arrested and treated 

as spies." 

1 



98 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKMAN. 

The columns of the three army corps had advanced 
along the railroad leading from Grand Junction to Gre- 
nada, the advance passing onward through Holly Springs 
the last of November. By the middle of December Gen- 
eral Grant's headquarters were at Oxford, his face set 
toward Vicksburg. On the 20th occurred a painful and 
memorable affair to check the forward march. Although 
Gen. Grant had taken every precaution against raiding 
parties, a dash was made at Holly Springs in his rear, held 
by Colonel Murphy, who at once surrendered the post. 

General Grant was indignant at the cowardly surren- 
der, and immediately dismissed the unworthy officer from 
the service. In consequence of the destruction of sup- 
plies, the commander-in-chief had to fall back to Holly 
Springs and prepare to start again. While this serious 
interruption in the army's progress was transpiring, Gen- 
eral Sherman had located his headquarters on board of 
the Forest Queen with his staff. This magnificent fleet 
consisted of one hundred and twenty-seven steamers be- 
sides the gunboats. The troops were hardy, western men, 
unsurpassed in the ranks for the qualities of brave 
warriors. 

War does not often present such a pageant as that of 
this armada sailing down the Tennessee and then the 
Mississippi Rivers. The Stars and Stripes waved over 
the crowded decks, and music floated over the waters. 
The grand procession of vessels moved majestically over 



LIFE OF GENEKAL SHEKHAN. 99 

the broad current, which in the sunlight reflected their 
forms, and in the evening unnumbered signal lanterns 
from mast and prow and stern. Various were the scenes 
and incidents of the voyage. 

Writes a passenger : " Until we got below Helena, 
wood was so scarce on the river that it was only to be 
obtained by cutting it, either entirely green or from the 
water-logged drifts which had caught against the banks. 
Wherever a good placer was discovered, the boats lucky 
enough to find it landed and all hands went out with axes, 
and in a few hours enough was obtained to steam on to 
the next good place. 

" When the fleet approached Napoleon, Arkansas, the 
Post Boy, which is a transportation boat, was in the ad- 
vance, and as she neared the shore she was hailed by a 
person bearing a flag of truce, with the information that 
there was a band of guerrillas just below, waiting to fire 
upon her. At this time she was the only boat visible, 
but in a short time the remainder of the fleet made its 
appearance, and the guerrillas, if there were any, con- 
cluded, no doubt, that we were too many for them. At 
all events, at this point there was firing. The houses in 
the town appeared to be nearly all deserted, but in some 
of them could be seen persons standing back in the door, 
as if to escape the observation of their neighbors, and 
waving their handkerchiefs. Napoleon is the place where 
the first shot was fired at a Federal steamer on the Miss- 



100 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

issippi River, but there may be some Union people there 
nevertheless. 

" As we reached Helena, very little of the city could 
be seen for the long line of tents stretched along the bank. 
The fleet stopped there for the night and took on the troops 
that were to accompany the expedition, and next morning 
started on for Friar's Point, the first place of rendezvous. 
It lay there all night, and about nine o'clock next morning 
again started down the river, and reached Gaines' Land- 
ing, one hundred and fifty miles below Helena, about two 
o'clock p. m., where it stopped to wood. As the fleet ap- 
proached this point the bank appeared to be lined with 
negroes, who all started down the shore hurrahing and 
shouting and jumping, and cutting all kinds of antics. I 
learned from some of them that they thought the fleet 
was going down to set all the slaves free. 

" When the boats landed, a negro gave information 
of a large store of wood of the best quality, amounting 
to more than two thousand cords, secreted in the timber 
near the bank, in a place where it would not readily have 
been found. This was a great prize, and was instantly 
levied on for the use of Uncle Sam. Every soldier able 
to do duty was sent on shore to pack wood, and by night- 
fall all the boats were well supplied for nearly the whole 
trip. Near the wood were some ten or twelve houses, 
one of them a very fine frame. The negroes said the 
owners had gone to join the Southern army, and the sol' 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 101 

diers, without more ado, burned them all down. Many 
of the negroes, if not all, came on the boats, and are now 
under the protection of the army. 

u At early light the next morning the fleet moved on 
again, and as General Morgan's division came opposite a 
little village known as "Wood Cottage Landing, some guer- 
rillas, secreted in a clump of undergrowth, fired a volley 
at one of his transports. To teach them a lesson for the 
future, General Morgan sent some troops on shore and 
burnt every house in the neighborhood. 

" Milliken's Bend was to be the last rendezvous of the 
fleet before it started out for active operations on Vicks- 
burg, and we arrived there about dark on the evening of 
the 24th December. The next day would be Christmas, 
and many of the soldiers had the idea that the fleet would 
sail right in without difficulty, and that they would take 
their Christmas dinner in Vicksburg. Many invitations 
were given among friends for a dinner at the Preston 
House. They little dreamed of the disappointment in 
store for them, or that New Year's day would find them 
ou the wrong side of the hill. 

" On the night of the 24th, General Sherman sent out 
a detachment of troops, under command of General M. L. 
Smith, to tear up a section of the line of the Vicksburg 
and Texas Eailroad, about ten miles west of Vicksburg. 
The work was well and quickly done, and the stations at 
Delhi and Dallas burned. 



102 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

" At daylight next morning all was ready, and the 
fleet started for its destined port, which it reached on the 
banks of the Yazoo about noon the same day. Many 
years ago, about eight miles below the mouth of the 
Yazoo, the Mississippi cut a new channel for itself across 
a bend, coming into the main channel again just above 
Vicksburg. The Yazoo followed the old channel, and 
the mouth of the river is, therefore, really from twelve 
to fifteen miles below where it was originally ; but from 
the old mouth to the new the river is known to pilots as 
4 Old Hiver.' Where the fleet landed was about three 
miles above Old River, where the right rested, and the 
left extended to within three miles of Haynes' Bluff, the 
intervening space being about six miles. 

' On entering the Yazoo, the first object that attracted 
the attention was the ruins of a large brick house and 
several other buildings, which were still smoking. On 
inquiry, I learned that this was the celebrated plantation 
of the rebel General Albert Sidney Johnston, who was 
killed at Shiloh. It was an extensive establishment, work- 
ing over three hundred negroes. It contained a large 
steam sugar refinery, an extensive steam saw-mill, cotton- 
gins,, machine-shop, and a long line of negro quarters. 

" The dwelling was palatial in its proportions and 
architecture, and the grounds around it were magnificent- 
ly laid out in alcoves, with arbors, trellises, groves of 
evergreens, and extensive flower-beds. All was now a 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 103 

mass of smouldering ruins. Our gunboats had gone up 
there the day before, and a small battery planted near the 
mansion announced itself by plugging away at one of the 
iron-clads, and the marines went ashore after the gunboats 
had silenced the battery, and burned and destroyed every 
thing on the place. If any thing were wanting to com- 
plete the desolate aspect of the place, it was to be found 
in the sombre-hued pendant moss, peculiar to Southern 
forests, and which gives the trees a funereal aspect, as if 
they were all draped in mourning. As on almost every 
Southern plantation, there were many deadened tree& 
standing about in the fields, from the limbs of all of which 
long festoons of moss hung, swaying with a melancholy 
motion in every breeze. 

" The weather, since the starting out of the fleet, had, 
up to this time, been very fine ; but as evening now ap- 
proached, a heavy rain commenced, which, from the 
appearance of things, bid fair to continue for an in- 
definite period. The Yazoo River was low, and the banks 
steep and about thirty feet high. Along the edge of the 
water, and reaching to the foot of the bank, is a dense 
undergrowth of willows, briers, thorns, vines, and live 
oaks, twined together in a most disagreeably promiscuous 
manner. To effect a landing of the troops and trains, a 
way had to be cut through this entanglement, from every 
boat, and this caused such a delay that it was quite dark 
before all the troops were got on shore. Tents were 



104 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

pitched for the night, pickets sent out, and the army en« 
camped, anxiously awaiting the dawn of the next day." 

That General Grant would fail to communicate with 
him, General Sherman could not know. He carried out 
his part of the great programme, and steadily advanced 
in accordance with its provisions for united action. In 
this profound ignorance of the occasion of the failure, he 
prepared to move upon Vicksburg. 



CHAPTER XIH. 



The March— The City— Preparations for an Assault— The Attack— The Abatis 
and Eifle-pits— The Charge upon the Hill — Sherman succeeded by Mc- 
Clernand— General Sherman's Farewell Order — Eesult of the Expedition. 



)N Saturday morning, December 27th, the advance 
of the " right wing of the Army of the Tennes- 
see " reached Vicksburg. The approach to the 
city from Johnston's Landing was very difficult, 
the town " being on a hill, with a line of hills 
surrounding it at a distance of several miles, and extend- 
ing from Haines' Bluff, on the Yazoo Eiver, to Warren- 
ton, ten miles below the city, on the Mississippi Eiver. 
The low country in the vicinity is swampy, filled with 
sloughs, bayous, and lagoons ; to approach Vicksburg 
with a large force by this route, even in times of peace, 
would be a matter of great difficulty, and with an enemy 
in front, it was almost an impossibility." 

The line of battle was soon formed by the army, and, 
from different points, the onset made upon the enemy's 




106 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

works. Oh ! how gallantly those Western legions heat 
against the ramparts ! And when the twilight shad- 
ows stole over the bristling walls and hill-sides, they 
had driven the rebel forces a mile from their original 
position. Sunday dawned upon the night's repose of the 
combatants, and on the sacred air rang out the sum- 
mons to carnage again. But the affair at Holly Springs 
had broken up the grand plan of attack, while the flying 
troops from General Grant's front reenforced the garri- 
son. Over the battlements of rebellion poured the iron 
tempest upon Sherman's unyielding lines. Securely the 
foe remained behind those defences, rising for two miles 
along the bluff, presenting a barrier no army small as the 
"right wing" could scale or remove. Meanwhile the 
sharpshooters from the forest dropped the officers on 
every hand. 

The brave Sherman was all the while expecting every 
moment to hear the roar of General Grant's guns in the 
rear. With Monday came a succession of brilliant charges, 
which were fruitless as the dash of sunlit waves against 
the cannon-pierced granite of Gibraltar. If a moment- 
ary advantage were gained, it was lost in the return tide 
of overwhelming numbers. A spectator of these terribly 
sublime encounters, wrote : 

" General Morgan, at eleven o'clock a. m., sent word 
to General Steele that he was about ready for the move- 
ment upon the hill, and wished the latter to support him 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 107 

with General Thayer's brigade. General Steele accord- 
ingly ordered General Thayer to move his brigade for- 
ward, and be ready for the assault. The order was 
promptly complied with, and General Blair received from 
General Morgan the order to assault the hill. The artillery 
had been silent for some time ; but Hoffman's battery open- 
ed when the movement commenced. This was promptly 
replied to by the enemy, and taken up by Griffith's First 
Iowa battery, and a vigorous shelling was the result. By 
the time General Blair's brigade emerged from its cover 
of cypress forest, the shell were dropping fast amocg the 
men. A field battery had been in position in front of 
Hoffman's battery ; but it limbered up and moved away 
beyond the heavy batteries and the rifle-pits. 

" In front of the timber where Blair's brigade had 
been lying was an abatis of young trees, cut off about 
three feet above the ground, and with the tops fallen pro- 
miscuously around. It took some minutes to pass this 
abatis, and by the time it was accomplished the enemy's 
fire had not been without effect. Beyond this abatis was 
a ditch fifteen or twenty feet deep, and with two or three 
feet of water in the bottom. The bottom of the ditch was 
a quicksand, in which the feet of the men commenced 
sinking, the instant they touched it. By the time this 
ditch was passed the line was thrown into considerable 
confusion, and it took several minutes to put it in 
order. All the horses of the officers were mired in 



108 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

this ditch. Every one dismounted and moved up the hill on' 
foot. Beyond this ditch was an abatis of heavy timber 
that had been felled several months before, and, from 
being completely seasoned, was more difficult of passage 
than that constructed of the greener and more flexible 
trees encountered at first. These obstacles were over- 
come under a tremendous fire from the enemy's batteries 
and the men in the rifle-pits. The line was recovered 
from the disorder into which it had been thrown by the 
passage of the abatis ; and with General Blair at their 
head, the regiments moved forward " upon the enemy's 
works." The first movement was over a sloping plateau, 
raked by direct and enfilading fires from heavy artillery, 
and swept by a perfect storm of bullets from the rifle-pits. 
Nothing daunted by the dozens of men that had already 
fallen, the brigade pressed on, and in a few moments had 
driven the enemy from the first range of rifle-pits at the 
base of the hill, and were in full possession. 

" Halting but a moment to take breath, the brigade 
renewed the charge, and speedily occupied the second line 
of rifle-pits, about two hundred yards distant from the 
first. General Blair was the first man of his brigade to 
enter. All this time the murderous fire from the ene- 
my's guns continued. The batteries were still above this 
line of rifle-pits. The regiments were not strong enough 
to attempt their capture without a prompt and powerful 
support. For them it had truly been a march 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 109 

Into the jaws of death— 
Into the mouth of hell. 

" Almost simultaneously with the movement of Gen- 
eral Blair on the left, General Thayer received his com- 
mand to go forward. He had previously given orders to 
all his regiments in column to follow each other when- 
ever the first moved forward. He accordingly placed 
himself at the head of his advance regiment, the Fourth 
Iowa, and his order — " Forward, second brigade ! "— 
rang out clear above the tumult. Colonel Williamson, 
commanding the Fourth Iowa, moved it off in splendid 
style. General Thayer supposed that all the other regi- 
ments of his brigade were following, in accordance with 
his instructions previously issued. He wound through 
the timber skirting the bayou, crossed at the same bridge 
where General Blair had passed but a few minutes be- 
fore, made his way through the ditch and both lines of 
abatis, deflected the right and ascended the sloping pla- 
teau in the direction of the rifle-pits simultaneously with 
General Blair, and about two hundred yards to his right. 

" When General Thayer reached the rifle-pits, after 
hard fighting and a heavy loss, he found, to his horror, 
that only the Fourth Iowa had followed him, the wooded 
nature of the place having prevented his ascertaining it 
before. Sadly disheartened, with little hope of success, 
he still pressed forward and fought his way to the second 
line, at the same time that General Blair reached it on 



110 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMAN. 

the left. Colonel Williamson's regiment was fast falling 
before the concentrated fire of the rebels, and with an 
anxions heart General Thayer looked around for aid. 

" The rebels were forming three full regiments of in- 
fantry to move down upon General Thayer, and were 
massing a proportionately formidable force against Gen. 
Blair. The rebel infantry and artillery were constantly 
in full play, and two heavy guns were raking the rifle-pit3 
in several places. With no hope of succor, General 
Thayer gave the order for a return down the hill and 
back to his original position. The Fourth Iowa, enter- 
ing the fight five hundred strong, had lost a hundred and 
twenty men in less than thirty minutes. It fell back at a 
quick march, but with its ranks unbroken and without 
any thing of panic. 

" It appears that just at the time General Thayer's 
brigade started up the hill, General Morgan sent for a 
portion of it to support him on the right. General Steele 
at once diverted the Second Regiment of Thayer's brigade, 
which was passing at the time. The Second Regiment 
being thus diverted, the others followed, in accordance 
with the orders they had previously received from their 
commander. Notice of the movement was sent to Gene- 
ral' Thayer ; but, in consequence of the death of the cour- 
ier, the notification never reached him. This accounts 
for his being left with nothing save the Fourth Iowa regi- 
ment. The occurrence was a sad one. The troops thus 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMAN. Ill 

turned off were among the best that had yet been in ac« 
tion, and had they been permitted to charge the enemy, 
they would have won for themselves a brilliant record. 

" Wken General Blair entered the second line of rifle- 
pits, his brigade continued to pursue the enemy up the 
hill. The Thirteenth Elinois infantry was in advance, 
and fought with desperation to win its way to the top of 
the crest. Fifty yards or more above the second line of 
rifle-pits is a small clump of willows, hardly deserving 
the name of trees. They stand in a corn-field, and from 
the banks of the bayou below presented the appearance 
of a green hillock. To this copse many of the rebels fled 
when they were driven from the rifle-pits, and they were 
promptly pursued by General Blair's men. The Thir- 
teenth met and engaged the rebels hand to hand, and in 
the encounter bayonets were repeatedly crossed. It gain- 
ed the place, driving out the enemy ; but as soon as our 
men occupied it, the fire of a field-battery was turned 
upon them, and the place became too hot to be held. 

" The road from Mrs. Lake's plantation to the top of 
the high ground, and thence to Vicksburg, runs at an angle 
along the side of the hill, so as to obtain a slope easy of 
ascent. The lower side of this road was provided with a 
breastwork, so that a light battery could be taken any- 
where along the road and fired over the embankment. 
From the nearest point of this embankment a battery 
opened on the Thirteenth Illinois, and was aided by a 



112 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

heavy battery on the hill. Several men were killed by 
the shell and grape that swept the copse. 

" The other regiments of the brigade came to the sup- 
port of the Thirteenth, the Twenty-ninth Missouri, Colonel 
Cavender, being in the advance. Meantime the rebels 
formed a large force of infantry to . bring against them, 
and when the Twenty-ninth reached the copse the rebels 
were already engaging the Union troops. The color- 
bearer of the Twelfth had been shot down, and some one 
picked up the standard and planted it in front of the copse. 
The force of the rebels was too great for our men to stand 
against them, and they slowly fell back, fighting step by 
step toward the rifle-pits, and taking their colors with them. 

" In this charge upon the hill the regiments lost se- 
verely. In General Blair's brigade there were eighteen 
hundred and twenty-five men engaged in this assault, and 
of this number six hundred and forty-two were killed, 
wounded, and captured." 

Under a flag of truce the dead were buried and the 
wounded removed, after which General Sherman gave the 
order for his troops to reembark. 

The arrival of General McClernand at the scene of 
action caused a change in the command, as he ranked 
General Sherman by over one month in the date of his 
commission ; and an order was at once given by the for- 
mer to withdraw from the Yazoo River, where the vessels 
were stationed, and return to the Mississippi River. Gen- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 113 

eral McClernand, on assuming the command, ordered the 
title of the army to be changed, and General Sherman 
announced the fact in the following order : 

" Headquarters Right Wing Army op Tennessee, ) 

Steamer Forest Qoeen, Milliken's Bend, January 4, 1863. ) 

" Pursuant to th*e terms of General Orders No. 1, 
made this day by General McClernand, the title of our 
army ceases to exist, and constitutes in the future the 
Army of the Mississippi, composed of two * army corps,' 
one to be commanded by General G. W. Morgan and 
the other by myself. In relinquishing the command of 
the Army of the Tennessee, and restricting my authority 
to my own corps, I desire to express to all commanders, 
to soldiers and officers recently operating before Vicks- 
burg, my hearty thanks for their zeal, alacrity, and cour- 
age manifested by them on all occasions. We failed in 
accomplishing one purpose of our movement, the capture 
of Vicksburg ; but we were part of a whole. Ours was 
but part of a combined movement, in which others were to 
assist. We were on time ; unforeseen contingencies must 
have delayed the others. We have destroyed the Shreve- 
port road, we have attacked the defences of Vicksburg, 
and pushed the attack as far as prudence would justify ; 
and having found it too strong for our single column, we 
have drawn off in good order and good spirits, ready for 
any new move. A new commander is now here to lead 

you. He is chosen by the President of the United States, 
8 



114 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

who is charged by the Constitution to maintain and de- 
fend it, and he has the undoubted right to select his own 
agents. I know that all good officers and soldiers will give 
him the same hearty support and cheerful obedience they 
have hitherto given me. There are honors enough in re- 
serve for all, and work enough too. Let each do his ap- 
propriate part, and our nation must in the end emerge 
from this dire conflict purified and ennobled by the fires 
which now test its strength and purity. All officers of the 
general staff now attached to my person will hereafter re- 
port in person and by letter to Major-General McCler- 
nand, commanding the Army of the Mississippi, on board 
the steamer Tigress, at our rendezvous at Gaines' Land- 
ing and at Montgomery Point. 

'' By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman. 

" J. H. Hammond, A. A.-G" 

The morning light of January the 9th, 1864, fell upon 
the White Cloud, carrying the mail with tidings of dis- 
aster, death, and suffering, bound for St. Louis, and the 
City of Memphis, bearing the sick and wounded. In the 
Army of the Mississippi, under General McClernand, act- 
ing for the time independent of General Grant's com- 
mand, the late chief acted a subordinate part. 

The fleet was again in motion, steaming up the broad 
current for Arkansas Post, whose fortress was the object 
of the expedition. It lies nearly north of Vicksburg, as a 



LIFE OF GEKEKAL SHERMAN. 115 

glance at the map will show you. On the 11th the tran- 
sports and gunboats appeared before the fort. 

The commander's brief report will tell the story of 
attack, conflict, and victory, in which General Sherman 
had no inferior part. 

" Headquarters Army of the Mississippi, ) 
Post op Arkansas, January 11, 1863. \ 

11 Major-General U. S. Grant, Commanding Department of Tennessee: 
" I have the honor to report that the forces under my 
command attacked the Post of Arkansas to-day, at one 
o'clock, having stormed the enemy's work. We took a 
large number of prisoners, variously estimated at from 
seven thousand to ten thousand, together with all his 
stores, animals, and munitions of war. 

" Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, commanding the 
Mississippi Squadron, effectively and brilliantly cooper- 
ated, accomplishing this complete success. 

" John A. McClernand, Maj.-Gen. Com' ding." 

The noble Admiral Porjter, a child of the sea, whose 
father was famous in the last war with England, also 
gives an account of his work with the grim warriors of 
the waters : 

"United States Mississippi Squadron, ) 
Arkansas Post, January 11, 1863. ) 
" Hon. Gideon Welles, Secretary of Navy : 

" Sm : The gunboats Louisville, De Kalb, Cincinnati, 
and Lexington, attacked the heavy fort at the Post, on 



116 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

the Arkansas, last night, and silenced the batteries, 
killing twenty of the enemy. 

"The gunboats attacked again this morning, and dis- 
mounted every gun, eleven in all. 

" Colonel Dunnington, late of the United States Navy, 
commandant of the fort, requested to surrender to the 
navy. I received his sword. 

"The army cooperated on the land side. The forts 
were completely silenced, and the guns, eleven in number, 
were all dismounted in three hours. 

"The action was at close quarters on the part of the 
three iron-clads, and the firing splendid. 

" The list of killed and wounded is small. The 
Louisville lost twelve, JDe Kalb seventeen, Cincinnati 
none, Lexington none, and Rattler two. 

" The vessels, although much cut up, were ready for 
action in half an hour after the battle. 

" The light draught Rattler, Lieutenant-Commander 
Wilson Smith, and the other light draughts, joined in the 
action when it became general, as did the Black Hawk, 
Lieutenant-Commander B,. B. Breese, with her rifle-guns. 
Particulars will be given hereafter. 

" Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" David D. Porter, Acting Rear-Admiral." 

Thus did the army and navy share equally in the hon- 
ors of the success ; neither is complete without the other. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN 117 

The results of the original expedition seem small ; 
and severe comments were spoken and written about 
General Sherman's haste and failure. That his gallant 
spirit was loyal, and his aim to serve the country, his 
whole career has amply shown. That he relied upon the 
expected battalions of Grant to meet the strength of the 
garrisoned enemy victoriously, is evident. The defeat 
was one of the lessons of our early warfare, which no 
leader has so well improved as Major-General Sherman. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The Plot— General Sherman's Part— His Successful Feint at Haines 1 Bluff- 
Joins the Main Army — The Advance toward Jackson, the State Capital — The 
Victorious Entry of the City— On to Vicksburg again— Assaults— Siege — Vic- 
tory — General Sherman goes after " Joe " Johnston. 

\URINGr the weeks of early spring the deeply 
laid plot against Vicksburg ripened into action. 
Quietly the master mind of the plan to reach 
and take it, had laid out the work for his com- 
manders. On different sides toward the enemy 
feigned attacks were made to deceive the rebels. March 
29th, the Thirteenth Corps, led by McClernand, made the 
advance from Milliken's Bend, the grand starting-point. 

Gen. Sherman, with the Fifteenth Corps, was to bring 
up the rear, and would therefore be last to leave in the 
general advance. 

April 28th a message in cipher, i. e. secret characters, 
understood only by those in correspondence, was received 
by him from General Grant, apprising him of the time 
chosen for an attack on Grand Gulf. It also informed 




LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMATT. 119 

him that an assault upon Haines' Bluff, on the Yazoo 
River, should " come off" at the same time, if it could 
be done in a way to be understood by our loyal people. 
For, to deceive the enemy and gain advantage over him, 
while the pretended attack was thought to be real one, 
ending in defeat, would depress the national feeling, and 
do more harm than good. This was the problem for 
General Sherman to solve. He was sure he could make 
the affair understood by his troops, and those for whom 
they were fighting would not long be in the dark. He 
therefore took ten steamers, and embarking with his true- 
hearted warriors, started from Milliken's Bend for the 
Yazoo. The spectacle was beautiful — itself a deception 
when contrasted with the havoc and horrors of conflict. 
When the fleet steamed into the mouth of the river, other 
vessels were wailing to join in the ruse. The whole 
number of boats then moved, April 29th, to the Chicka- 
saw Bayou. The morning of the following day the fleet 
pushed forward to the fort. Now came preparation for 
action in the gunboats of Admiral Porter, the stir of the 
gunners about their massive engines of destruction. A 
few moments later the thunder of bombardment opened, 
and for four hours it echoed over the works and waters. 
The gunboats then retired out of range, and General 
Sherman landed his force, while the rebels looked on, 
expecting an immediate attack by him. No sooner had 
the last soldier left the transports than the naval force ad- 



120 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

vanced and renewed the fire on the fortress. General 
Sherman saw that the feint had succeeded, the foe was 
getting ready to resist an assault. 

Says General Grant in his official report : " To pre- 
vent heavy reinforcements going from Vicksburg to the 
assistance of the Grand Gulf forces, I directed Sherman 
to make a demonstration on Haines' Bluff, and to make 
all the show possible. From information since received 
from prisoners captured, this ruse succeeded admirably." 

Meanwhile, the magnificent naval scene in the passing 
of Vicksburg by Admiral Porter's fleet, and the unrivalled 
and romantic raid of Colonel Grierson through the heart 
of the enemy's country to Baton Rouge, cutting railroads 
southeasterly of the same defiant Gibraltar, gave their 
promise of success to the bold plans of General Grant. 

While General Sherman was frightening the enemy, 
and learning his strength and positions, General Grant 
sent for the heroic commander. He at once forwarded to 
Grand Gulf the two divisions of his corps left at Milli- 
ken's Bend ; and soon as the night covered his feints on 
the Yazoo, sailed down the tide to his encampment at 
Young's Point. Nor did he pause long here. With all 
his troops, excepting a garrison to hold the position, he 
hastened to Hard Times, four miles from Grand Gulf, 
which you will see lies on the banks of the Mississippi in 
Louisiana. It was a remarkable march of sixty-throe 
miles in about five days. The oolumns reaehed Hard 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 121 

Times on the morning of the 6th, and the same evening 
commenced crossing the ferry to join General Grant. 

And now began in earnest the great movement of the 
army toward Vicksburg ; for here the supply wagons 
were furnished and in line of march, arrangements made 
to send on more when needed, and the long cavalcade 
put in motion. General Sherman commanded at Hard 
Times upon General Grant's advance, till the provision 
for the many thousand troops was completed. Unless 
you have seen this part of army work, you have no idea 
of the immense scale on which it is conducted. There 
are miles of wagons, hundreds of horses and mules to 
draw them, and an army of teamsters to drive the brute 
muscle of the campaign. The gigantic locomotive store- 
house moved toward Hawkinson's Ferry on the Black 
River, where the commander-in-chief was waiting for it 
and Sherman's Corps. While this deliberate and de- 
termined progress was made, the Mississippians were 
getting alarmed. The Governor of Mississippi issued 
a flaming proclamation, calling upon the people " to 
awake and join their brothers in arms, who were 
baring their bosoms to the storm of battle in defence of 
all they held dear." 

On May 12th, " Generals Sherman and McClernand 
had skirmishing at Fourteen-Mile Creek, and McPherson 
a successful engagement at Raymond. Sherman and 
McPherson then started for Jackson, ths capital of Mis- 



122 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

sissippi, the former on the turnpike road, the latter on 
the Clinton road. The rain fell in torrents, making the 
roads at first slippery and then miry. But the troops 
marched without straggling, and in the best of spirits, 
about fourteen miles, and engaged the enemy about twelve 
o'clock m., near Jackson. The wily rebel General 
Johnston, in command there, made a vigorous feint of 
resisting Sherman's progress by posting infantry and ar- 
tillery on the south side of the city, meanwhile moving 
nearly all his force against McPherson. But Sherman 
at once penetrated this device, by sending a reconnoi- 
tring party to his right, which flanked the position. The 
enemy retreated, after a heavy engagement with McPher- 
son, who had beaten him. From Jackson McPherson 
and McClernand turned to Bolton ; but Sherman was 
left at Jackson, and effectually destroyed the railroads, 
bridges, factories, workshops, arsenals, and every thing 
valuable for the support of the enemy. General Grant 
meanwhile, with the other two corps, had gained the de- 
cisive victories of Champion's Hill on the 16th of May, 
and Big Black River on the 17th. Early on the former 
day he sent for Sherman ' to move with all possible 
speed until he came up with the main force near Bolton. 
The despatch reached him at ten minutes past seven a.m., 
and his advance division was in motion in one hour 
from that time.' The other followed on its heels, and 
both reached Bolton that night, by a forced march of 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 123 

twenty miles. There orders came to keep on to Bridge- 
port ; and by noon of the next day the march to Bridge- 
port was accomplished. There Sherman assumed the 
advance, starting before dawn of May 18, and rapidly 
marched toward Vicksburg. By a quick detour to the 
right he managed to throw himself before night on "Wal- 
nut Hills, in a brilliant manoeuvre, and thereby establish- 
ed communication between the army and the fleet in the 
Yazoo. On these latter movements of Sherman the com- 
ment of General Grant is as follows : — ' His demonstra- 
tion at Haines' Bluff, in April, to hold the enemy about 
Vicksburg, while the army was securing a foothold east 
of the Mississippi; his rapid marches to join the army 
afterwards ; his management at Jackson, Mississippi, in 
the first attack ; his almost unequalled march from Jack- 
son to Bridgeport, and passage of the Black River ; his 
securing "Walnut Hills on the 18th of May, attest his 
great merit as a soldier.' 

" General Grant first determined to carry Vicksburg 
by assault, and ordered a general attack for two o'clock 
of the 19th of May. General Sherman was, curiously 
enough, on the ground he had before gallantly but vainly 
striven to take, in December, having now seized it from 
the rear without a struggle. Promptly at the hour his 
men rushed to the work. The interval was a broad 
reach, rugged and broken with deep ravines, and strewed 
with abatis or felled timber, and with groves of standing 



124 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

trees. It would have been a rough and impenetrable re- 
gion even if unswept with artillery. But in truth the 
enemy's cannon, carefully disposed, raked and enfiladed 
almost every step. But the order was Forward ! and for- 
ward went the gallant brigade of General A. L. Lee, of 
Osterhaus's division, and, struggling across the impedi- 
ments, gained the crest of one of the ridges and planted 
the colors of the Thirteenth infantry on the enemy's first 
line of works. The charge cost this regiment six officers 
and seventy-seven men killed and wounded out of two 
hundred and fifty. The column was then called off and 
covered from fire. General Grant's report says : ' The 
Fifteenth Army Corps, from having arrived in front of 
the enemy's works in time on the 18th to get a good posi- 
tion, were enabled to make a vigorous assault. The 
Thirteenth and Seventeenth Corps succeeded no further 
than to gain advanced positions covered from the fire of 
the enemy.' On the morning of the 22d, a second and 
more terrific assault was made by all three corps, pre- 
ceded by a tremendous cannonading from guns and mor- 
tars, mingled with the heavy booming from the entire 
fleet. The orders were to advance without firing a musket. 
The army dashed forward across ravines and ditches, over 
ground covered with artful tangles of cane and grape- 
vines, to find only new difficulties. Yet so far did some 
of the gallant brigades advance as to lie underneath the 
guns of the fort, while hand-grenades and lighter shells 



LIFE OF GENEEAE SHERMAN". 125 

were hurled over the parapet among them. The assault 
is worthy to be mentioned with the names of Mamelon, 
Vert, and Malakoff. But, like the Crimean stronghold, 
this Sebastopol of the Mississippi could only be carried 
by assault after a protracted siege. With fearful loss, the 
gallant army was retired from the unequal fight, and reg- 
ular approaches commenced. The conduct, triumphant 
issue, and joyful results of the siege, are familiar. On 
the 4th of July, 1863, after a campaign of extraordinary 
energy, the unconditional surrender of Vicksburg closed 
up a series of movements of which General Halleck de- 
clares, c No more brilliant exploit can be found in mili- 
tary history/ 

" While, however, the rest of the army, on the na- 
tional holiday, moved into the city they had won, to 
rejoice in their success, and to rest after exhausting 
labors, for Sherman and his corps there was still work 
in hand. About a fortnight before the surrender, Gen- 
eral Joe Johnston was threatening the rear of the besieg- 
ing army with a large improvised force. Grant at once 
sent this message to Sherman : ' You must whip Johnston 
fifteen miles from here/ But Johnston drew back upon 
Jackson, and General Sherman was notified to be ready to 
start against the latter place on July 6th. ' I placed Major- 
General Sherman in command of all the troops desig- 
nated to look after Johnston. Johnston, however, not 
attacking, I determined to attack him the moment Yicks- 



126 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

burg was in our possession, and accordingly notified Sher- 
man that I would again make an assault on Vieksburg at 
daylight of the 6th, and for him to have up supplies of 
all descriptions ready to move upon receipt of orders if 
the assault should prove a success. His preparations 
were immediately made, and when the place surrendered 
on the 4th, two days earlier than I had fixed for the attack, 
Sherman was found ready , and moved at once with a force 
increased by the remainder of both the Thirteenth and 
Fifteenth Army Corps, and is at present (July 6th) in- 
vesting Jackson, where Johnston has made a stand/ 

" General Sherman was now intrusted with the chief 
part of General Grant's army : he moved so quickly that 
the latter was able to telegraph to "Washington, July 12th, 
' General Sherman has Jackson invested from Pearl River 
on the north to the river on the south. This has cut off 
many hundred cars from the Confederacy. General Sher- 
man says he has force enough, and feels no apprehension 
about the result/ " 

Nor was there occasion to fear ; for the rebel chief 
was under the eye of a lion in war's arena, that never 
missed his prey when fairly within his reach. 



CHAPTER XV. 

General Sherman watching Joe Johnston— Foraging — An Attack — The Enemy 
steals away in the Night — The Conquering Battalions have a brief rest — 
Encampment on the Big Black Eiver — Scenes there — Eeenforces General 
Eosecrans — Death of General Sherman's Son — Beautiful Letter — The 
Monument. 

(ENERAL SHERMAN was in no haste to strike ; 
lie could leisurely watch the foe chafing in the 
narrow limits of his beleagured ground. Expe- 
ditions were sent out in different directions, 
the gallant troopers destroying railroad tracks, 
bridges, and culverts, and bringing in supplies from the 
enemy's lands and granaries. 

July 11th they accidentally found in an old building, 
carefully packed away, a large library, and various me- 
mentos of friendship. A glance revealed the owner. A 
gold-headed cane bore the inscription, " To Jefferson 
Davis, from Franklin Pierce." Precious plunder ! The 
arch traitor has hidden in the quiet country, and in a 
place which could awaken no suspicion, his valuable li- 




128 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

brary, correspondence, and articles of cherished regard. 
The excited troopers soon get into the book pile, and vol- 
umes, heaps of letters, and handsome canes, are borne as 
trophies (a new kind of forage) to headquarters. Seces- 
sion is discovered in many letters, by Northern friends 
of the treasonable leader, and his right to that proud dis- 
tinction freely granted. Added to their capture, hundreds 
of cars were taken from the Confederacy. 

On the 13th a heavy fog lay along the river banks, 
hiding from each other's view the opposing armies. Sud- 
denly rebel shouts came through the gloom, and a des- 
perate sortie from their works is made upon General 
Sherman's defences. He is ready to meet the shock, and 
after a brief struggle they stagger back to their intrench- 
ments. 

The twilight hour of July 16th brought to a projec- 
tion - of the works rebel bands of music, insulting our 
troops with " Bonnie Blue Flag," " My Maryland," 
" Dixie's Land," and other airs perverted to the service 
of treason. The next morning's dawn gave signs of a 
retreating foe. The fighting Joe Johnston had stolen 
away, leaving all over Jackson the marks of ruin. The 
day before — July 15th — the President issued a proclama- 
tion for national thanksgiving, on the 6th day of August, 
for the recent victories. 

General Johnston was fairly whipped, and without 
the awful waste of life a great battle involves. And now 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 129 

followed other bloodless, and yet exciting scenes of war. 
Yon might have seen squads of cavalrymen galloping in 
every direction, in the wake of the retreating foe, and, 
with axe and torch, laying in ruins bridges and barns, 
and whatever might serve the cause of rebellion. Of oor 
brave chieftain's successes to this time, since he dashed 
forward to Walnut Hills, after the first occupation of 
Jackson, " the siege of Vicksburg and last capture of 
Jackson, and dispersion of Johnston's army, entitle Gen- 
eral Sherman to more honor than usually falls to the lot 
of one man to earn." 

The short period of rest enjoyed by the heroic army 
was only one of preparation for a more difficult and 
grander advance. The London Spectator said of the bold 
and splendid campaign : It comprised " a series of move- 
ments which were overlooked at the time, yet upon which 
hung the safety of two Federal armies — the extraordinary 
march of General Sherman from Vicksburg to Chatta- 
nooga." 

The camp of the Fifteenth Army Corps, during this 
interlude of marching, lay along the Big Black River, 
between Jackson and Vicksburg, about twenty miles from 
the latter. It was acting as guard to all that region 
against any return movements or raids of the enemy. A 
glance at the map will show you the exact position. 

But there is a history of this and similar encampments 
which will never be written. In the sultry air and poison- 
9 



130 LIFE OF GENEEAL 6HEEMAH. 

ous vapors of tlie Big Black, officers and men resorted to 
every possible resource for whiling away the dull hours 
and cheering the home-sick invalids. 

Not unfrequently, in the light of the evening-lamps, 
the commander-in-chief has amused and interested by the 
hour a circle of officers gathered about him, with the 
narratives of his early adventures, presenting, with the 
vividness of reality, the exciting life among the Indians of 
Florida and the gold-seekers of California. 

But one day there was an unusual stir around the 
General's headquarters ; for visitors worth more to him 
than all earthly honors or gold were escorted to his tent, 
his wife and his son, bearing his own name, had come 
from their western home, to meet him once more before 
his long and perilous marches over hostile soil. But the 
hours of domestic converse and delight flew swiftly by, 
the farewells were spoken, and the well-guarded visitors 
went on their homeward way. There was no safeguard 
against disease lurking in those Southern swamps. The 
gifted and beautiful boy, unconsciously to all, had been 
smitten, and a raging fever soon laid him at the gate of 
death. He had been adopted by the Thirteenth Corps as 
their pet — a compliment both to him and his father, who 
was himself the idol of those brave battalions. 

How this bereavement affected him and his old veter- 
ans, you will know hereafter. 

September 22d, General Grant telegraphed him from 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 131 

Vicksburg to send forward immediately a division to re- 
enforce General Rosecrans, who had been defeated by 
General Bragg at Chickamauga, and was obliged to re- 
treat to Chattanooga, unpnrsued by his successful enemy. 
General Rosecrans commanded the Army of the Cum- 
berland,' and was now holding the great central strong- 
hold in the vast battle-field between Yicksburg and 
Charleston. At 4 o'clock of the same day the telegram 
was read by General Sherman, who is always a minute 
man. General Osterhaus' division was on the road to 
Vicksburg, and the following day " it was streaming tow- 
ard Memphis." A day later, and the commander-in-chief 
received orders to follow with the entire corps. The tents 
disappeared like dew before the morning sun, and the 
proud host were following the columns of Osterhaus tow- 
ard Memphis. Two divisions were transported by water. 
But the low tide and scarcity of food made their progress 
slow. The leader was impatient of delay, for he longed 
to try the metal of his corps against that of General 
Bragg. He is no fancy commander ; but an incarnation 
of nervous energy, with no display of tinsel in his attire, 
helping with his own hands to bring in fence-rails to feed 
the fires, then turning teamster to wagons hauling wood 
from the interior to the boats. 

During the first days of October, while General 
Osterhaus is in front of Cormth, his boats lie before 
Memphis. 



132 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

And amid the absorbing duties of a grand campaign, 
look into the General's tent, and you shall see the warrior 
for a moment lost in the grieving father, and will feel 
that the scene is, indeed, " a touching episode of the war." 
The letter, addressed to the Thirteenth Infantry, and by 
its officers ordered to be printed for distribution among 
the soldiers of the regiment, cannot but touch a tender 
chord in every heart. Stricken father, noble patriot, the 
hero of uncounted battles ; let the nation pause in its ad- 
miration of his gallant deeds, to weep with the mourner 
over the young life that no " bugle note" will awaken. 

" Gatoso House, Memphis, Tenn., Oct. 4, Midnight. 
"Capt. C. C. Smith, Commanding Battalion Thirteenth Regulars : 

" My Dear Friend : I cannot sleep to-night till I 
record an expression of the deep feelings of my heart to 
you, and to the officers and soldiers of the battalion, for 
their kind behavior to my poor child. I realize that you 
all feel for my family the attachment of kindred ; and I 
assure you all of full reciprocity. Consistent with a 
sense of duty to my profession and office, I could not 
leave my post, and sent for my family to come to me in 
that fatal climate, and in that sickly period of the year, 
and behold the result ! The child that bore my name, 
and in whose future I reposed with more confidence than 
I did in my own plans of life, now floats a mere corpse, 
seeking a grave in a distant land, with a weeping mother, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 133 

brother, and sisters clustered about Mm. But, for myself 
I can ask no sympathy. On, on, I must go to meet a 
soldier's fate, or see my country rise superior to all fac- 
tions, till its flag is adored and respected by ourselves and 
all the powers of the earth. 

" But my poor Willy was, or thought he was, a ser- 
geant of the Thirteenth. I have seen his eye brighten 
and his heart beat as he beheld the battalion under arms, 
and asked me if they were not real soldiers. Child as he 
was, he had the enthusiasm, the pure love of truth, honor, 
and love of country, which should animate all soldiers. 
God only knows why he should die thus young. He is 
dead, but will not be forgotten till those who knew him 
in life have followed him to that same mysterious end. 

" Please convey to the battalion my heartfelt thanks, 
and assure each and all that if, in after years, they call 
on me or mine, and mention that they were of the Thir- 
teenth Regulars, when poor "Willy was a sergeant, they 
will have a key to the affections of my family that will 
open all it has — that we will share with them our last 
blanket, our last crust. 

" Your friend, W. T. Sherman, Maj.-Gen." 

The noble Thirteenth did not stop in their expressions 
of sympathy with words. The chieftain went to his 
war-path, while the sculptor's chisel was busy on the 
marble, until it formed a lasting memorial of manly affec- 



134 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

tion cherished by the troops for father and son. "Wrote 
one who saw it in Cincinnati before it was removed to 
the " silent city : " 

"At Rule's marble works we observed recently a 
beautiful monument to the memory of Major-General 
Sherman's son, who died over a year since, in Memphis, 
while returning home with his mother from the Black 
River, where they had been visiting the General, and 
where, unfortunately, the boy contracted a fever. The 
monument was made by order of the Thirteenth Regiment 
of Regular United States Infantry, of which General 
Sherman was Colonel four years since, and of which his 
namesake-son, the deceased child, was, by general con- 
sent, considered a sergeant, having been elected to that 
position by the members of the regiment, who were very 
proud of him. The monument is about two feet square 
at the base, and six feet high. Above the rough ground 
base is the' marble base, an eight-sided, finely-polished 
and ornamented block. Upon four of the faces are in- 
scriptions, and upon the other four, between them, the 
American shield, with its Stripes and Stars. Surmount- 
ing the base is a full-sized tenor drum, with straps and 
sticks complete, and crossed above this two flags of the 
Union — all in beautiful white marble. The inscriptions 
are as follows : 

" 'In Thy Tabernacles I shall dwell forever. I shall 
be protected under the cover of Thy wing. Psalms 1. 1.' 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 135 

" ' Our Little Sergeant Willie — from the First Bat- 
talion, Thirteenth United States Infantry.'" 

"'William Tecumseh Sherman, son of William T. 
and Ellen E. Sherman. Born in San Francisco, Cali- 
fornia, June 8, 1854 ; died in Memphis, Tennessee, Oc- 
tober 3, 1863/ 

" ' In his spirit there was no guile/ 

" ' Blessed are they undefiled in the way, who walk 
in the way of the Lord. Psalms cxviii/ " 



CHAPTER XVI. 

The Grand Advance from Memphis — The Enemy prepare to Meet It — General 
■Sherman's Genius equal to any Emergency— Rapid Marches— The Foe driven 
from the Path— New Command — The Swollen Eiver— Into Chattanooga— 
The Tireless Chief and his Gallant Troops push forward to Missionary Eidge. 

)PEN the map, my reader, and spend a few mo- 
ments, tracing the long way before the Union 
troops, and you will "understand the greatness of 
the success of the march from Memphis to Chatta- 
nooga, which are three hundred and nine miles 
apart. The Memphis and Charleston Railway connect 
them. The Tennessee and Elk Rivers cross the country j 
many of whose bridges were gone, and the foe lurked 
along the lines of travel. 

But when General Sherman received orders from 
General Halleck to transport his troops to Athens, Ala- 
bama, repairing the railroad and getting his supplies as 
best he could, he was off with the haste of a prepared and 
fearless leader, whose heart was in the cause, for whose 
triumph he fought. But instead of using boats, " his 




LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 137 

quick eye saw that lie could move his trains faster by 
road under escort." He therefore did so, and conveyed 
into the enemy's country the entire Fourth Division over 
the iron track. 

" Alarmed by this very dangerous move eastward, 
the enemy quickly assembled at Salem and Tuscumbia, 
with intent to thwart it and to foil the junction with Rose- 
crans. At the former point Chalmers collected three 
thousand cavalry and eight pieces of artillery, and plant- 
ed himself in our path. Hearing of this, General Sher- 
man, on October 11th, put his whole force in motion 
toward Corinth, and himself started thither in a special 
train with a battalion of the Thirteenth Infantry (his 
own regiment) as escort. On approaching Colliersville, 
which was defended by a few troops in a stockade, the 
train was fired upon, and it was discovered that Chalmers 
was investing the place. Instantly the General ordered 
his regulars to charge, and under his eye they scattered 
the rebels in all directions, and reached the stockade. 
Before General Sherman's arrival, the little garrison had 
been sorely pressed in a severe contest. The General 
soon changed the aspect of affairs, and beat off the supe- 
rior force. Corinth being reached next night, he sent 
General Blair to luka with the First Division, and push- 
ed troops toward Bear Creek, five miles east of luka, as 
fast as they came up. 

" Foreseeing difficulties in crossing the Tennessee, he 



138 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

had written to Admiral Porter at Cairo to watch the 
river and send up gunboats as soon as the water would 
permit, and to General Allen at St. Louis to despatch a 
fei ry-boat to Eastport. The requests were promptly ful- 
filled. It now only remained to work away at the rail- 
road, in accordance with orders, covering his working- 
parties from the enemy's attacks. At the same time he 
despatched Blair with two divisions to drive the enemy 
from Tuscumbia, where, under Stephen Lee, they were 
five thousand strong. It was accomplished after a severe 
fight at Cane Creek ; and Tuscumbia was occupied on 
the 27th of October." 

Pause here, to get a glimpse of the general move- 
ments in the programme of war, of which this was no in- 
ferior part. General Grant had been put in command of 
the " Departments of the Ohio, of the Cumberland, and 
of the Tennessee, constituting the military division of the 
Mississippi." In the latter General Sherman was ap- 
pointed to the command, while General Thomas suc- 
ceeded General Rosecrans in the department of the Cum- 
berland. October 23d, General Grant, modestly wearing 
his new laurels, reached Chattanooga. The enemy occu- 
pying Lookout Mountain, with their terraces of cannon 
cut off supplies from Chattanooga by the ordinary route, 
compelling our troops to get their scanty supplies by the 
most difficult mountain routes. Wrote a Union soldier 
of the sad condition of things there : 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 139 

" I confess I do not see any very brilliant prospects 
for continuing alive in it all this winter, unless something 
desperate be done. While the army sits here, hungry, 
chilly, watching the £ key to Tennessee,' the ' good dog ' 
Bragg lies over against us, licking his Chickamauga sores 
without whine or growl. He will not reply to our occa- 
sional shots from Star Fort, Fort Crittenden, or the Moc- 
casin Point batteries across the river ; has forbidden the 
exchange of newspapers and the compliments of the day 
between pickets ; has returned surly answers to flag-of- 
truce messengers ; in fact, has cut us dead. 

" The mortality among the horses and mules is fright- 
ful to contemplate. Their corpses line the road, and 
taint the air, all along the Bridgeport route. In these 
days, hereabouts, it is within the scope of the most ob- 
tuse to distinguish a quartermaster or a staff officer by a 
casual glance at the animal he strides. ' He has the fat- 
ness of twenty horses upon his ribs,' as Squeers remark- 
ed of little Wackford ; and so he has. God help the 
others. 

" I am assured that this state of things will not last 
long ; that hordes of men are energetically at work im- 
proving our communication, and that we soon shall be 
benefited by the overflowing plenty of the North. The 
vigor and good spirits of the army all this time are de- 
veloped in a most astonishing manner." 

Relief was nearer than the writer deemed at the 



140 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 

time. General Sherman, at Iuka, reorganized his new 
command on the very day of the battle at Cane Creek, 
and sent General Ewing with a division to cross the Ten- 
nessee, and hasten with all possible speed to Eastport. 
A messenger from General Grant on the same day came 
down the river over the Muscle Shoals, with an order to 
suspend his work on the railroad, and press forward to 
Bridgeport. No message ever found a more welcome ear. 
November 1st, the chieftain led his columns across the 
Tennessee and on to the branch of the Elk River. But 
the river was unfordable, and with no leisure to construct 
a bridge or ferry, he was compelled to take a circuitous 
route along the stream by the way of Fayetteville, where 
he mapped out the routes for the different divisions, and 
hastening to Bridgeport, sent to General Grant, by tele- 
gram, the position of his army. November 15th, the 
unresting commander of admiring and uncomplaining 
troops reined up his steed at the headquarters of General 
Grant in Chattanooga, after more than three hundred 
miles of varied and difficult travel between him and Mem- 
phis, where he lay during the early days of October. 

The hero of Vicksburg welcomed with delight his peer 
in the field of war's most daring exploits. Though worn 
and weary with their unrivalled, if not hitherto unequal- 
led march, such was his confidence in his brave men, he 
heard without hesitation the order to bring them across 
the Tennessee, secure a position at the extremity of Mis- 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 141 

sionary Ridge, and also tlireatened Lookout Mountain; 
saying for himself, " I saw enough of the condition of 
men and animals in Chattanooga to inspire me with re- 
newed energy." 

Away he flies to execute the commands. He does not 
wait for means of conveyance ; "he has no false ideas of 
dignity to interfere with the business in hand. Taking a 
row-boat, he glides before the strokes of his own strong 
arms, down the river to Bridgeport. The divisions are 
soon in order of march. But oh ! what roads ! Mud — 
mud — mud ! is before the unflinching columns. They toil 
on, their leader sharing with them the exhausting labor, 
till three divisions, on the 23d, are sheltered from the ob- 
servation of the enemy behind the hills, opposite the mouth 
of the Chickamauga. 

Night comes on, and with silent, stealthy steps, a force 
advanced along the Tennessee, taking prisoners nineteen 
out of twenty men who were on picket duty. By day- 
light eight thousand troops were on the banks of the river, 
ready to cross over and fasten upon Missionary Ridge. 
Before the sun was above the hill-tops, a pontoon bridge, 
three hundred and fifty feet long, was commenced, and at 
1 p. m. it was done. Proudly the grand cavalcade 
streamed over the causeway of boats, and advanced tow- 
ard the desired position. These movements were favored 
by the concealment — a providential interposition — which 
" a light, drizzling rain and low-hanging clouds " afford- 



142 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

ed. Three o'clock found them safely lodged at the ter 
minus of Missionary Ridge. Up the hill the gallant 
ranks pressed, completely surprising the enemy, who, in 
his vexation at the humiliating success of the flanking 
generalship, opened a fruitless fire of artillery and mus- 
ketry. The " boys " could not allow this, and, dragging 
their own guns up the acclivity, soon silenced the noisy 
demonstration of impotent wrath. But beyond and higher 
was a spur, still more important in the coming trial of 
strength between the two great armies. Fortifying the 
ground gained, at midnight the orders passed along the 
columns to advance at dawn. 



CHAPTER XVn. 

The Place of Battle — The Battle-ground— General Sherman's Part in the Struggle 
— Desperate Talor — Victory — Pursuit — No Eest — General Burnside in Peril 
— General Sherman hastens to his Eelief— The Bridge breaks down— It is 
Rebuilt, and the Heroic Battalions save Knoxrille— General Sherman again 
at Chattanooga, 

\Y reader cannot even imagine, in his peaceful 
home, the dread interest which broods over 
preparation for a great and decisive battle. 
Thoughts of the loved and absent throng the 
minds of brave men ; hasty letters are written, 
and messages left, should they fall in mortal combat. 
Bibles are read, prayers offered, and hope rekindled in 
many heroic hearts. Ambulances and "stretchers" are 
made ready for the wounded, and surgeons arrange their 
instruments, lint, and bandages, while orders are passed 
from the commanding general down to the lieutenant. 
This work of preparation went forward at Chattanooga 
during the hours of November 23d. 

"Writes Colonel Bowman, the friend of General Sher- 




144: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

man, a scholar, a gentleman, and a gallant soldier : " In 
the plan of the battle, Hooker was to hold the enemy at 
Lookout Mountain, and carry it, if possible. General 
Sherman was to vigorously assault Missionary Ridge. As 
that was their vital point, the enemy would mass to defend 
it. This would weaken the centre, upon which Thomas 
would rush, to penetrate it. Simple and plausible as this 
plan seemed, and successful as it proved, to most men 
who looked up at the frowning and precipitous heights 
which towered even into the clouds, above Chattanooga, 
with rebel works studded with artillery commanding 
every rugged approach, the idea of carrying them seemed 
little short of madness. The rebels felt so secure as to 
risk sending Longstreet's entire corps to Knoxville, where 
it closely besieged the army of Burnside. ; By half-past 
three p. m. of the 24th,' says Grant, ' the whole of the 
northern extremity of Missionary Ridge, to near the tun- 
nel, was in Sherman's possession. During the night he 
fortified the position thus secured, making it equal, if not 
superior, in strength to that held by the enemy.' 

" Before dawn of the 25th of November General 
Sherman was in the saddle, and had made the entire 
tour of his position in the dim light. It was seen that a 
deep valley lay between him and the precipitous sides of 
the next hill in the series, which was only partially clear- 
ed, and of which the crest was narrow and wooded. The 
farther point of the hill was held by the enemy, with a 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN". 145 

strong breastwork of logs and fresh earth, crowded with 
men, and carrying two guns. On a still higher hill be- 
yond the tunnel he appeared in great force, and had a fair 
plunging fire on the intermediate hill in dispute. The 
gorge between these two latter hills, through which the 
railroad-tunnel passes, could not be seen from Sherman's 
position, but formed the natural place d'armes, where the 
enemy covered his masses ' to resist our turning his right 
flank, and thus endangering his communications with the 
Chickamauga depot.' General Corse was to have the 
advance ; ; and the sun had hardly risen,' says Sherman, 
'before his bugle sounded the " Forward." ' 

" His men moved briskly down into the valley and up 
the steep sides of the hill in front, and, in spite of all 
opposition, carried and held a sort of secondary crest on 
the enemy's hill, which, however, was swept with a mur- 
derous fire from the breastworks in front. And now for 
more than an hour a very bloody and desperate conflict 
raged, our line now swaying up close to the breastwork, 
as though it would sweep over and engulf it, and anon 
dashed back, receding far away to its first conquest. 
Meanwhile, Sherman's left, on the outer spur of the ridge, 
and his right abreast of the tunnel, were hotly engaged, 
and partially drew the enemy's fire from the assaulting 
party on the hill-crest. Our artillery also plumped shot 
and shell into the breastwork, and strove to clear the hill 

in Corse's front. About ten a. m. the fight raged furious- 
10 



14:6 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

ly, and General Corse was severely wounded. Two 
brigades of re enforcements were sent up ; but the crest 
was so crowded that they had to fall away to the west of 
the hill. At once the heavy masses of the enemy in a 
gorge, under cover of the thick undergrowth, moved out 
on their right and rear. So suddenly overwhelmed, the 
two supporting brigades fell back in some confusion to 
the lower edge of the field, where they reformed in good 
order ; but, as they constituted no part of the real attack, 
the temporary rebuff was unimportant. General Corse, 
Colonel Loomis, and General M. L. Smith still stubbornly 
held the attacking column proper up at the crest. Gen- 
eral Grant says of them, ' The assaulting column ad- 
vanced to the very rifle-pits of the enemy, and held their 
position firmly and without wavering.' ' "When the two 
reserved brigades fell back,' says Sherman, ' the enemy 
made a show of pursuit, but was caught in flank by the 
well-directed fire of one brigade on the wooded crest, and 
hastily sought his cover behind the hill.' 

" The desperate and incessant attack of General 
Sherman was triumphantly successful. It was directed 
against, in the words of Grant, ' the enemy's most north- 
ern and vital point,' and ' was vigorously kept up all day.' 
Sherman's position not only threatened the right flank of 
the enemy, but also his rear and stores at Chickamauga. 
The enemy, therefore, began very early to mass his line 
down against the single gallant storming party. 'At 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 147 

three p. m.,' writes Sherman, c column after column of 
the enemy was streaming toward me, gun after gun 
poured its concentric shot on us from every hill and spur 
that gave a view of any part of the ground.' Long and 
anxiously he waited for the centre to open its part of the 
contest, and meanwhile held stubbornly to his bloody 
ridge under murderous fire. Grant, keeping his eye fixed 
on this key-point, sent a division to Sherman's support, 
but he sent it back with the note that ' he had all the force 
necessary.' Now at last the time had come for seizing 
victory out of doubtful battle. Hooker on the right had 
gallantly swept round the enemy's left. ' Discovering 
that the enemy,' says General Grant, ' in his desperation 
to defeat or resist the progress of Sherman, was weaken- 
ing his centre on Missionary Kidge, determined me to 
order the advance at once.' It was ordered and gallantly 
executed. The huge masses with which Sherman was 
contending, now, to their dismay, found Thomas on their 
left flank, and the centre of their long line broken in. They 
turned ; but it was too late. The white line of Thomas's 
musketry swept up from ridge to ridge, and the army of 
Bragg was flung back, in overwhelming defeat, into the 
valleys of Georgia. Thus was the great victory of 
Chattanooga won. 

"And now pursuit swiftly followed victory. The 
same night Sherman pushed his skirmishers out, and, 
finding that enemy had given way, sent a division after 



148 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

him to the depot, and followed it up at four A. m. with 
a part of Major-General's Howard's Eleventh Corps. 
As the column advanced, wagons, guns, caissons, forage, 
stores, pontoons, and all the ruins of a defeated army 
and an abandoned camp, were found on the route. At 
night of the 26th, so rapid was the pursuit that the 
rear-guard of the enemy was reached, and a sharp 
light ensued, till darkness closed in. The next day all 
three armies pressed on, Hooker and Thomas sharing 
with Sherman the marching and fighting. General 
Sherman meanwhile detached Howard to move against 
the railroad between Dalton and Cleveland, and destroy 
it. This was done, and communication thereby cut be- 
tween Bragg and Longstreet. The same movement also 
turned the flank of the enemy, who were engaging 
Hooker so heavily further south at Ringgold that the lat- 
ter sent to Sherman to turn their position. It was already 
done before Hooker's messenger arrived. Continuing to 
Ringgold, he found General Grant. The enemy had been 
driven from Tennessee, and Sherman was ordered to 
move leisurely back to Chattanooga. The next day he 
effectually destroyed the railroad from half-way between 
Graysville and Ringgold to the State line, and General 
Grant ' consented that, instead of returning to Chatta- 
nooga, he might send back all my artillery, wagons, and 
impediments, and make a circuit by the north as far as 
the Hiawassee.' This, too, was effected, with the de- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 149 

struction of more railroad and the capture of more stores. 
' This,' says Sherman, ' was to have been the limit of our 
journey. Officers and men had brought no baggage or 
provisions ; and the weather was bitter cold.' But at 
this time Grant received an urgent appeal for relief from 
Burn side, stating that his supplies could only last until 
the 3d of December. Nothing but incomparable energy 
would save Knoxville and its gallant commander. 
Granger had already been ordered thither, but ' had not 
yet got off,' says General Grant, ' nor would he have the 
number of men I directed. Besides, he moved with re- 
luctance and complaint. I therefore determined, not- 
withstanding the fact that two divisions of Sherman's 
forces had marched from Memphis and had gone into bat- 
tle immediately on their arrival at Chattanooga, to send 
him with his command.' Accordingly General Sherman 
received command of all the troops designed for relieving 
Knoxville, including Granger's. ' Seven days before,' he 
writes, ' we had left our camps on the other side of the 
Tennessee, with two days' rations, without a change of 
clothing, stripped for the fight, with but a single blanket 
or coat per man, from myself to the private included. 
Of course, we then had no provisions, save what we 
gathered by the road, and were ill supplied for such a 
march. But we learned that twelve thousand of our 
fellow-soldiers were beleaguered in the mountain town of 
Knoxville, eighty-four miles distant, that they needed 



150 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

relief, and must have it in three days. This was enough ; 
and it had to be done/ 

" That night General Howard repaired and planked 
the railroad-bridge, and at daylight the army passed the 
Hiawassee and marched to Athens, fifteen miles. On the 
2d of December the army hurried thence toward London, 
twenty-six miles distant, and the cavalry pushed ahead to 
save the pontoon bridge across the Tennessee, held by 
Vaughn's brigade of the enemy. They moved with such 
rapidity as to capture every picket, but found Yaughn 
posted strongly in earthworks containing artillery in posi- 
tion. They were forced to wait till night, when Howard's 
infantry came up. During the night the enemy retreated, 
destroying the pontoons, running three locomotives and 
forty-eight cars into the Tennessee, and leaving for How- 
ard to capture at daylight a large quantity of provisions, 
four guns, and other material. 

" The bridge was gone, and but one day of the allot- 
ted three remained. The same night, therefore, Sherman 
sent word to Colonel Long, commanding the cavalry bri- 
gade, that Burnside must know within twenty-four hours 
of his approach — ordering him to select his best material, 
to start at once, ford the Little Tennessee, and push into 
Knoxville, ' at whatever cost of life and horse-flesh.' The 
distance to be travelled was forty miles, and ' the road 
villanous.' Before dawn they were off. At daylight the 
Fifteenth Corps was turned from Philadelphia to Morgan 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMATT. 151 

town ; but even at this place the Little Tennessee was 
found too deep for fording. A bridge was skilfully ex- 
temporized by General Wilson — ' working partly with 
crib-work and partly with square trestles made of the 
houses of the late town of Morgantown ; ' and by dark 
of December 4th the bridge was down and the troops 
passing. Next morning came the welcome message from 
Burnside, dated December 4th, that Long's cavalry had 
reached Knoxville on the night of the 3d, and all was 
well. Just before this news, the diagonal bracings of 
"Wilson's bridge had broken, from want of proper spikes, 
and there was delay. But the bridge was mended, and 
the forced march continued, till, at Marysville, on the 
night of the 5th, a staff officer of General Burnside rode 
up to announce that Longstreet had raised the siege the 
night before. Sending forward Granger's two divisions 
to Knoxville, General Sherman at once ordered the rest of 
his gallant army to halt and rest ; for their work was done. 
" General Sherman rode from Marysville to Knox- 
ville, greeted General Burnside, and freely expressed his 
admiration at the skilful fortification of the place, includ- 
ing Fort ' Saunders/ where Longstreet's assaulting col- 
umns had met a bloody repulse. Knoxville being saved, 
it was obviously best for Sherman's army, excepting 
Granger's two divisions, to return to support the sus- 
pended movement against Bragg. But before General 
Sherman left he received the following letter : 



152 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

Knoxville, December 1th, 1863. 
To Major-General Sherman : 

I desire to express to you and your command my most hearty 
thanks and gratitude for your promptness in coming to our relief dur- 
ing the siege of Knoxville, and am satisfied your approach served to 

raise the siege. 

A. E. BURNSIDE, Major-General. 

" General Sherman now leisurely returned to Chatta- 
nooga, his cavalry giving chase for some distance to a 
rebel wagon-train on the way. On the 14th of December 
his command reached the banks of the Hiawassee. Four 
days of easy marches brought them to Chattanooga, after 
a three-months' campaign unparalleled in the history of 
the war. His losses had amounted to something over 
two thousand men. His official report states that his 
men had marched for long periods, without regular ra- 
tions or supplies of any kind, through mud and over rocks, 
sometimes barefooted, without a murmur. Without a 
moment's rest, after a march of over four hundred miles, 
without sleep for three successive nights, they crossed the 
Tennessee River, fought their part in the battle of Chat- 
tanooga, pursued the enemy out of Tennessee, then turned 
more than a hundred miles north and compelled Long- 
street to raise the siege of Knoxville, which had been the 
source of anxiety to the whole country. c The praises of 
Confederate generals,' says the London Spectator, in re- 
viewing some of these facts, ' have been sung abundantly 
on this side the water : the facts are, that all military skill 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 153 

and military perseverance and courage are not on one 

side Such a display of genuine military qualities 

should not pass without some record ; and we offer it to 
our readers as some proof that, with all their faults, the 
Federal officers and soldiers are not without great virtues, 
which soldiers at least should admire.' " 

General Sherman repaired to Vicksburg to look after 
the affairs of the widening field of the Union army under 
his leadership. Here, in answer to inquiries from Adju- 
tant-G-eneral Sawyer, at Huntsville, Alabama, he wrote a 
splendid letter, both in comprehensiveness of views and 
the clear vigorous style of composition. If you begin it 
you will want to finish it, though long. It is full of fire, 
historical knowledge, and yet so plain a child can under- 
stand it. The matter discussed, is the treatment of rebels 
in a conquered territory : 

" Headquarters Department oe the Tennessee, ) 
Yicksburg, Jan. 31, 1864. ) 

"Major R. M. Sawyer, Assistant Adjutant- General, Army of the Ten- 
nessee, Huntsville : 

" Dear Sawyer : In my former letter I have an- 
swered all your questions save one, and that relates to 
the treatment of inhabitants known or suspected to be 
hostile or ' secesh.' This is in truth the most difficult 
business of our army as it advances and occupies the 
Southern country. It is almost impossible to lay down 
rules, and I invariably leave the whole subject to the 



154: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

local commanders, but am willing to give them the benefit 
of my acquired knowledge and experience. 

" In Europe, whence we derive our principles of war, 
as developed by their histories, wars are between kings 
or rulers, through hired armies, and not between peoples. 
These remain, as it were, neutral, and sell their produce 
to whatever army is in possession. 

" Napoleon, when at war with Prussia, Austria, and 
Eussia, bought forage and provisions of the inhabitants, 
and consequently had an interest to protect farms and 
factories which ministered to his wants. In like man- 
ner, the allied armies in France could buy of the French 
inhabitants whatever they needed, the produce of the soil 
or manufactures of the country. Therefore, the rule was 
and is, that wars are confined to the armies, and should 
not visit the homes of families or private interests. 

" But in other examples a different rule obtained the 
sanction of historical authority. I will only instance 
that, when in the reign of William and Mary the English 
army occupied Ireland, then in a state of revolt, the in- 
habitants were actually driven into foreign lands, and 
were dispossessed of their property, and a new popula- 
tion introduced. To this day a large part of the north 
of Ireland is held by the descendants of the Scotch emi- 
grants sent there by William's order and an act of Par- 
liament. 

" The war which now prevails in our land is essen- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAX. 155 

tially a war of races. The Southern people entered 
into a clear compact of government, but still maintained 
a species of separate interests, history, and prejudices. 
These latter became stronger and stronger, till they have 
led to a war which has developed fruits of the bitterest 
kind. 

" We of the North are, beyond all question, right in 
our lawful cause, but we are not bound to ignore the fact 
that the people of the South have prejudices, which form 
a part of their nature, and which they cannot throw off 
without an effort of reason or the slower process of 
natural change. Now, the question arises, should we 
treat as absolute enemies all in the South who differ 
from us in opinion or prejudice, kill or banish them ; or, 
should we give them time to think, and gradually change 
their conduct so as to conform to the new order of things, 
which is slowly and gradually creeping into their coun- 
try? 

" When men take arms to resist our rightful authority, 
we are compelled to use force, because then all reason 
and argument fail. When the provisions, horses, mules, 
wagons, etc., are used by the enemy, it is clearly our 
duty and right to take them, because otherwise they 
might be used against us. 

" In like manner, all houses left vacant by an inimical 
people are clearly our right, or such as are needed as 
storehouses; hospitals, and quarters. But a question 



156 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

arises as to dwellings used by women, children, and non- 
combatants. So long as the non-combatants remain in 
their homes and keep to their accustomed business, their 
opinions and prejudices in nowise influence the war, and 
therefore should not be noticed. But if any one comes 
out into the public streets and creates disorder, he or she 
should be punished, restrained, or banished either to the 
rear or front, as the officer in command adjudges. If the 
people, or any of them, keep up a correspondence with 
parties in hostility, they are spies, and can be punished 
with death, or minor punishment. 

" These are well-established principles of war, and 
the people of the South having appealed to war, are 
barred from appealing to our Constitution, which they 
have practically and publicly defied. They have appealed 
to war, and must abide its rules and laws. The United 
States, as a belligerent party claiming right in the soil 
as the ultimate sovereign, have a right to change the 
population, and it may be and is both politic and just we 
should do so in certain districts. When the inhabitants 
persist too long in hostility, it may be both politic and 
right we should banish them and appropriate their lands 
to a more loyal and useful population. No man will 
deny that the United States would be benefited by dis- 
possessing a single, prejudiced, hard-headed and disloyal 
planter, and substitute in his place a dozen or more 
patient, industrious, good families, even if they be of 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 157 

foreign birth. I think it does good to present this view 
of the case to many Southern gentlemen, who grow rich 
and wealthy, not by virtue alone of their industry and 
skill, but by reason of the protection and impetus to 
prosperity given by our hitherto moderate and magnani- 
mous Government. It is all idle nonsense for these 
Southern planters to say that they made the South, that 
they own it, and that they can do as they please — even to 
break up our Government, and to shut up the natural 
avenues of trade, intercourse, and commerce. 

" We know, and they know, if they are intelligent be- 
ings, that, as compared with the whole world, they are 
but as five millions are to one thousand millions ; that 
they did not create the land ; that their only title to its 
use and usufruct is the deed of the United States, and 
that if they appeal to war, they hold their ally by a very 
insecure tenure. 

" For my part, I believe that this war is the result of 
false political doctrines, for which we are all as a people 
responsible, viz. : That any and every people have a 
right to self-government ; and I would give all a chance 
to reflect, and when in error to recant. I know slaveown- 
• ers, finding themselves in possession of a species of prop- 
erty in opposition to the growing sentiment of the whole 
civilized world, conceived their property in danger, and 
foolishly appealed to war ; and by skilful political hand- 
ling involved with themselves the whole South on the 



158 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

doctrines of error and prejudice. I believe that some of 
the rich and slaveholding are prejudiced to such an ex 
tent that nothing but death and ruin will extinguish, but 
hope that as the poorer and industrial classes of the South 
will realize their relative weakness, and their dependence 
upon the fruits of the earth and good will of their fellow 
men, they will net only discover the error of their ways, 
and repent of their hasty action, but bless those who per- 
sistently maintained a constitutional Government, strong 
enough to sustain itself, protect its citizens, and promise 
peaceful homes to millions yet unborn. 

" In this behalf, while I assert for our Government 
the highest military prerogatives, I am willing to bear in 
patience that political nonsense of slave rights, State 
rights, freedom of conscience, freedom of press, and 
such other trash, as have deluded the Southern people 
into war, anarchy, bloodshed, and the fouldest crimes 
that have disgraced any time or any people. 

" I would advise the commanding officers at Hunts- 
ville, and such other towns as are occupied by our 
troops, to assemble the inhabitants and explain to them 
these plain, self-evident propositions, and tell them it 
is for them now to say whether they and their children 
shall inherit the beautiful land which by the accident 
of nature has fallen to their share. The Government of 
the United States has in North Alabama any and all 
rights which they choose to enforce in war, to take their 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAST. 159 

lives, their homes, their lands, their every thing, because 
they cannot deny that the war does exist there, and war 
is simply power unrestrained by constitution or compact. 
If they want eternal war, well and good — we will accept 
the issue and dispossess them, and put our friends in pos- 
session. 

" I know thousands and millions of good people who, 
at simple notice, would come to North Alabama and ac- 
cept the elegant houses and plantations now there. If the 
people of Hunts ville think different, let them persist in 
war three years longer, and then they will not be con- 
sulted. Three years ago, by a little reflection and pa- 
tience they could have had a hundred years of peace and 
prosperity, but they preferred war ; very well, last year 
they could have saved their slaves, but now it is too late ; 
all the powers on earth cannot restore to them their slaves 
any more than their dead grandfathers. Next year their 
lands will be taken, for in war we can take them, and 
rightfully, too,, and in another year they may beg in vain 
for their lives. A people who will persevere in war be- 
yond a certain limit, ought to know the consequences. 
Many, many people, with less pertinacity than the South, 
have been wiped out of national existence. 

" My own belief is, that even now the non-slavehold- 
ing classes of the South are alienating from their associa- 
tions in war. Already I hear criminations. Those who 
have property left, should take warning in time. 



160 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" Since I have come down here I have seen many 
Southern planters who now hire their negroes, and ac- 
knowledge that they knew not the earthquake they were 
to make by appealing to Secession. They thought that 
the politicians had prepared the way, and that they could 
depart in peace. They now see that we are bound to- 
gether as one nation in indissoluble ties, and that any 
interest or any people that set themselves up in antago- 
nism to the nation must perish. 

" While I would not remit one jot or tittle of our 
nation's right in peace or war, I do make allowances for 
past political errors and false prejudices. Our national 
Congress and Supreme Courts are the proper arenas in 
which to discuss conflicting opinions, and not the battle- 
field. 

" You may not hear from me again, and if you think 
it will do any good call some of the better people to- 
gether and explain these my views. You may even read 
to them this letter and let them use it, so as to prepare 
them for my coming. 

" To those who submit to the rightful law and author- 
ity, all gentleness and forbearance, but to the petulant and 
persistent secessionists, why, death is mercy, and the 
quicker he or she is disposed of the better. Satan, and 
the rebellious saints of heaven, were allowed a contin- 
uance of existence in hell, merely to swell their just pun- 
ishment. To such as would rebel against a Government 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 161 

so mild and just as ours was in peace, a punishment equal 
would not be unjust. 

" We are progressing well in this quarter. Though 
I have not changed my opinion that we may soon assume 
the existence of our National Government, yet years will 
pass before ruffianism, murder, and robbery will cease to 
afflict this region of our country. 

" Truly, your friend, W. T. Sherman, 

Major-Gen. Commanding." 

As it was at the beginning of the war, so in this 
earnest declaration of views, the great commander keeps 
in advance of the popular and ruling ideas of the conflict. 

Like Napoleon in military genius and sublimely dar- 
ing marches, he is vastly his superior in principles of 
human progress, and the foundations of true national 
prosperity. 



11 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

A New Expedition— Its Wise Design— Cause of its Failure in the Main Purpose 
— The Hero of Vicksburg is created Lieutenant-G-eneral — The New Order of 
Things — Two Grand Lines of March and of Conquest — From Chattanooga to 
Kenesaw Mountain. 

)HE holidays of the season which introduced the 
year 1863 had scarcely passed, and your gifts 
of affection, young reader, were still in your 
hands, or in a snug corner of your home, when 
the untiring chief, who was and is defending 
that home from the hosts of rebellion, was planning a 
grand expedition into Central Mississippi. 

The map will show you the town of Meridian, where 
important railroads have their junction, more than a hun- 
dred miles from Vicksburg. To this centre of the empire, 
claimed by the usurper Davis, around which lay the 
richest corn and cotton fields of the South, and swarmed 
the toiling slaves, General Sherman determined to lead 
his battalions. You must recollect, he would have to cut 
loose from his "base of supplies," and, with a long 




LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 163 

wagon-train carrying rations for twenty days, conduct his 
" movable column" — that is, the entire army in motion, 
and with no communications open — over the enemy's 
country, where well-disciplined troops were not very far 
from his path. It was a most daring adventure, but just 
like the brave commander who conceived it. Compre- 
hending the gigantic revolt, and the vital points in the 
Confederacy, he has had but one view of the means to 
suppress the infamous rebellion. Had his plan been 
adopted, the war might have been ended now. Large 
armies, bold and rapid movements into the home of seces- 
sion, sparing nothing that affords it any nourishment, has 
been the war-creed of General Sherman. February found 
the campaign complete in preparation. On the 3d the 
commander left the streets of Yicksburg, reining his 
steed toward Meridian. 

Two days before, General W. S. Smith was to leave 
Memphis, Tenn., with eight thousand cavalry, and join 
him at Meridian. The course of march was in part along 
the track in which the troops advanced on Yicksburg. 
The cavalcade of twenty thousand men, followed by miles 
of supply-wagons, crossed the Big Black River, moved 
along by Champion Hills and Clinton to Jackson. Here 
General McPherson, with the Sixteenth Corps, and Gen- 
eral Hurlbut, with the Seventeenth Corps, who had taken 
different routes, met General Sherman, and were united 
to his army. 



164: LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

The rebels did not seem to care about fighting the 
daring chieftain, but retreated before him. At Line 
Creek resistance was offered, a short battle followed, 
and again the host moved forward, taking the towns of 
Quitman and Enterprise, on every hand spreading 
alarm. 

February 13th he reached the Big Chunkey River. 
Meridian was the next point to be gained, when, with all 
his forces, he could push on, getting between General 
Johnston and Mobile, where Commodore Farragut was 
thundering with his naval ordnance, and perhaps interfere 
very much with General Polk's army. Meanwhile, mili- 
tary depots would disappear before the torch, and other 
havoc with supplies distract and cripple the foe. With 
such successes, it would not be difficult to hasten over the 
intervening ground, and hurl his legions against the city 
from the land side, thus finishing the work Commodore 
Farragut had so well commenced. At Meridian, Febru- 
ary 13th, 150 miles from Vicksburg, he congratulated his 
troops in these words : 

" The General Commanding conveys his congratula- 
tions and thanks to the officers and men composing this 
command, for their most successful accomplishment of 
one of the great problems of the war. Meridian, the 
great railway centre of the Southwest, is now in our pos- 
session, and, by industry and hard work, can be rendered 
useless to the enemy, and deprive him of the chief source 



LIFE OF GENES AL SHERMAN. 165 

of supply to his armies. Secrecy in plan and rapidity of 
execution accomplish the best results of war ; and the 
General Commanding assures all that, by following their 
leaders fearlessly and with confidence, they will in time 
reap the reward so dear to us all — a peace that will never 
again be disturbed in our country by a discontented mi- 
nority." 

But as General Grant's delay at Holly Springs, on 
account of its cowardly surrender, turned the first attack 
upon Vicksburg into a defeat, so by the failure of General 
Smith to start from Memphis till the 13th of February, 
the further success of the expedition was made impossible. 
Still, the affair was a magnificent raid into the heart of 
" rebeldom," which spread terror along its way, and left 
the ruins of railroads, bridges, and storehouses behind, 
while securing animals and various material for the use 
of the Union army. 

The great commander was now compelled to turn his 
column toward Vicksburg again, which he entered three 
weeks after his departure, having led his troops safely 
across hostile soil more than two hundred and fifty miles, 
surrounded by large armies. March 2d, General Sher- 
man reached New Orleans in the gunboat Diana, and 
when referring to his expedition, termed it " a big raid 
only." Before he had rested his heroic men, a law which 
had been before Congress while he was marching, was 
passed, creating the office of Lieutenant-General, the 



166 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

President conferring the honor of it upon Major-General 
Grant. The same order of March 12th gave to General 
Sherman the command before held by the hero of Vicks- 
burg, called the Department of the Mississippi, and in- 
cluding the smaller departments of the Ohio, the Cum- 
berland, and the Tennessee, with the Arkansas. Around 
him were to stand Generals McPherson, Hooker, Thomas, 
Hurlbut, Logan, Schofield, and Howard, the " Havelock 
of the army." 

The grandest and most decisive campaigns of the 
war were now planned. The Army of • the Potomac, 
commanded by General Meade, was again to start for 
Richmond, under the eyes of the Lieutenant-G eneral ; 
and the divisions of General Sherman were to take At- 
lanta, the former the " head, the latter the heart of the 
Confederacy." 

It was a sublime crisis in the struggle. The two 
great heroes of the conflict had in their hands enterprises 
worthy of their genius, and which would hold the in- 
terest of the nation and of the world. For if either of 
the bold movements succeeded, the other it would seem 
must, because beyond the single victory were the vast 
results of the cooperating armies on the coast, from the 
mouth of the James River to Savannah. Immediately 
upon receiving the notice of his appointment, in the mid- 
dle of March, General Sherman began a tour of inspection, 
visiting Athens, Decatur, Huntsville, Chattanooga, Knox- 



LIFE OF GENEKAL SHEKMAN. 167 

ville, and other places of military importance, carefully- 
acquainting himself with the extent and resources of the 
new field of his command. From reports published, it 
is believed that on the 1st day of May the effective 
strength of the several armies, for offensive purposes, 
was about as follows : 

Army of the Cumberland, Major- General Thomas Commanding. 

Infantry 54,568 

Artillery 2,377 

Cavalry 3,828 

Total 60,773 

Guns 130 

Army of the Tennessee, Major General McPherson Commanding. 

Infantry 22,437 

Artillery 1,404 

Cavalry 624 

Total 24,465 

Guns 96 

Army of the Ohio, Major General Schofield Commanding. 

Infantry 11,183 

Artillery 679 

Cavalry 1,679 

Total 13,541 

Guns 28 

Grand aggregate number of troops, 98,779 ; guns, 254. 



168 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

About these figures were maintained during the cam- 
paign, the number of men joining from furlough and 
hospitals about compensating for the loss in battle and 
from sickness. These armies were grouped on the morn- 
ing of May 6th, as follows : That of the Cumberland at 
and near Ringgold ; that of the Tennessee at Gordon's 
Mill, on the Chickamauga ; and that of the Ohio near 
Eed Clay, on the Georgia line, north of Dalton. 

A reference to the map again will show you Dalton 
on the railroad between Chattanooga and Atlanta, with 
Ringgold northwest of it. A distinguished general of the 
army describes the advance : 

" Marching from Chattanooga on the 5th of May, 
and from Ringgold on the 7th, he first encountered John- 
ston at Tunnel Hill, a strong position, but which, was 
used by him merely as an outpost to his still stronger one 
of ' Buzzard Roost/ This latter is a narrow gorge or 
pass in the Chatoogata Mountains, flanked on one side 
by the precipitous sides of Rocky Face Ridge (not unlike 
the Palisades of the Hudson River) and on the other by 
the greater but less precipitous elevation called John's 
Mountain. This gorge was commanded on the Dalton 
side by an amphitheatre of hills, which, as well as the 
tops of Rocky Face and John's Mountain, was crowned 
by batteries, lined with infantry, and terraced by sharp- 
shooters. The railroad and wagon-road wind through 
the gorge, which is absolutely the only passage through 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 169 

the mountains at this place. Taking a leaf from the 
book of his Yorktown experience, Johnston had skilfully 
flooded the entrance to the gorge by damming a neigh- 
boring mountain-stream, and covering both railroad and 
wagon-road with water to the depth in some places of 
eight to ten feet. It is scarcely possible to conceive a 
stronger defensive position, and the rebels had been in- 
duced to believe that it was unassailable." 

The pass, which doubtless received its name from a 
large bird common at the south, was made impassable 
by abatis, and piles driven down filling the defile, and 
the whole overflowed by the waters of Mill Creek. 
Two days' reconnoissance and sharp skirmishing proved 
to General Sherman that an attack in front would cost 
too great a sacrifice of life, and that the pass must be 
turned. The means for this were found in a gap called 
Snake Creek Gap, some fifteen miles to the southwest. 
The thick dark forest, by its concealment, would pro- 
tect the march. Rising almost perpendicularly are the 
flinty sides of Rocky Face, on the other side of which 
stands Oak Knot). Into this wild and romantic seclusion 
our army pushed its front, while the rebels lurked in the 
heights around and above the Union " boys." 

General Morgan, whose command was there, relates, 
that " a corporal of Company I, Sixtieth Illinois, broke 
from the line, and under the cover of projecting ledges 
got up within twenty feet of a squad of rebels on the sum- 



170 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

mit. Taking shelter from the sharpshooters, he called 
out: 

" 1 1 say, rebs, don't you want to hear Old Abe's am- 
nesty proclamation read ? ' 

" ' Yes ! yes ! ' was the unanimous cry, c give us t] £> 
ape's proclamation.' 

' ; ' Attention ! ' commanded the corporal, and in a 
clear and resonant voice he read the amnesty proclama- 
tion to the rebels, beneath the cannon planted by rebel 
hands to destroy the fabric of Government established by 
our fathers. When he arrived at those passages of the 
proclamation where the negro was referred to, he was in- 
terrupted by cries of ' None of your Abolitionism ; look 
out for rocks ! ' And down over his hiding-place de- 
scended a shower of stones and rocks. Having finished 
the reading, the corporal asked : 

" ' Well, rebs, how do you like the terms? Will you 
hear it again ? ' 

" ' Not to-day, you bloody Yank. Now crawl down 
in a hurry and we won't fire,' was the response ; and the 
daring corporal descended and rejoined his command, 
which had distinctly heard all that passed. I regret I 
could not learn the name of the corporal, for he must get 
promotion at the hands of Father Abraham and Governor 
Dick Yates." 

Another incident of army life at this crisis of the 
campaign will interest you : While on Rocky Face Gen- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 171 

eral Howard stood upon a ledge of rocks from which 
he could see a large force of rebels upon a projecting spur 
of the ridge immediately beneath him. Tired of gazing 
upon the enemy, the General, in the absence of hand 
grenades, lighted the fuse of shells, and amused him- 
self by dropping them down into the centre of the enemy, 
in whose ranks there was quite a lively commotion in 
consequence. The frightened enemy little suspected that 
the hand that dropped the shells into their ranks was the 
companion of the one lost at Fair Oaks by the fearless 
leader of the Eleventh Army Corps. 

The flank movement was led by General McPherson 
with the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Corps, and Garrard's 
division of cavalry, supported by General Thomas with 
the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, while Generals 
Howard and Schofield, with the Fourth, Twenty-third, 
and Stoneman's division of cavalry, " amused the enemy 
in front." Suddenly General Johnston waked up from 
his dream of security, and hastily abandoning his strong- 
hold fell back upon a new position to save his com- 
munications, which were around the town of Resaca, 
almost due south from Chattanooga, and distant from it 
by railroad fifty-six miles. It is situated in Gordon 
County, Georgia, on the north bank of the Coosawattee 
River, which flows southwest, changing its name to the 
Oostalantee, and joins Etowah at Rome, the two forming 



172 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

the Coosa, which, joining the Tallapoosa, forms the Ala- 
bama, and flows into the Gulf at Mobile. 

The railroad bridge at Resaca, destroyed by the rebels 
on their retreat, is one of the most important, perhaps 
the most important, on the Western and Atlantic Rail- 
way ; it is six hundred feet long. The distance from 
Resaca to Atlanta is eighty-two miles by rail, and the 
country much more favorable for our operations than 
that from Chattanooga to Resaca. 

The rebel general began to learn lessons of caution in 
the flanking school of General Sherman, and so guarded 
the extremities of his army that the latter was compelled 
to try a direct assault in front. For three days the 
sound of battle at intervals echoed among the hills, with 
constantly increasing advantage to the vigilant, skilful, 
and unyielding Sherman, until he had in his possession 
commanding hills, with railroads and bridges in his rear. 
Eight guns, two flags, large quantities of stores, and sev- 
eral hundred prisoners, were the trophies of the hard- 
earned victories. 

The night of the 15th of May the rebel chief, finding 
himself outwitted and outflanked, made a hurried retreat. 
When the morning revealed the flight of the foe, General 
Sherman's army started in pursuit. General Thomas, 
second only in splendid achievements and gallantry to his 
commander, was " directly on his heels," while Generals 
McPherson and Schofield took different routes. Amusing 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 173 

scenes occasionally lit up the darkest hours of night and 
conflict. 

During the whole operations of Saturday and Sunday, 
while forcing General Johnston from his intrenchments, 
General Beatty's brigade, of Wood's division, was j\ 
reserve. The boys did not relish their position, and, while 
the battle raged with great fury, they showed unmistaka- 
ble signs of uneasiness. One fellow, more daring than 
his companions, quietly sauntered out and made for the 
front. Meeting a wounded soldier returning from the 
front, the "Buckeye" borrowed his "fixins" and entered 
Hazen's brigade, where he fought bravely until shot in the 
jaw. Retiring to the rear, he met a staff-officer, who 
inquired the number of his regiment, and, learning it 
was not under fire, asked how he came to be wounded. 
"Well," replied the soldier, "you see I don't like to 
be back in the rear, so I came out to take a shot at 
the Johnnies, and I be dogged if they haven't peppered 
me." 

At nine on Saturday night the Nineteenth Alabama 
was lying in line, with a rebel battery separating it from 
another regiment. The battery was withdrawn, and the 
colonel of the Nineteenth went down to fill the gap with 
his regiment ; he was accompanied by four hundred men. 
Arriving at the gap they found it filled with' pickets, who 
quietly " took them in out of the wet," and brought them 
in. Our boys had crawled up unobserved, and filled the 



174 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

gap in the enemy's line, captured Colonel McSpadden and 
companions, and retired without receiving a shot. The 
rebel colonel himself highly praised the strategy of his 
captors. 

Onward through forest, across streams, and over 
heights, the nobly proud and confidant columns pressed 
toward Atlanta. The song and joke — the sacred page 
and prayer — the inexcusable oath — all marked the long 
marches, the night encampment, and the morning hour 
of preparation to renew the tramp of embattled legions 
toward the interior of the Confederate Territory. How 
sublime the music, rising over that moving host, which 
a listener thus describes : 

u At early dawn one morning, ere the troops were fully 
awakened from their slumbers, the melodious notes of 
' Old Hundred,' given forth by one of the brigade bands, 
rang out upon the air, and were echoed by the green- 
capped hills beyond. Soldiers intently occupied in pre- 
paring the morning meal stood still and listened to the 
melody, and instinctively joined in it. It flew from 
regiment to regiment ; brigade after brigade took it 
up, and, ere the notes of the band ceased to reverber- 
ate, five thousand voices were raised in 'Praise God 
from whom all blessings flow.' A moment later all was 
still. Breakfast was taken ; and so silently did the veter- 
ans of many battle-fields break camp and fall into line 
that everybody remarked it, and complimented them for 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 175 

their conduct. I have heard ' Old Hundred' often, when 
the lungs of the organ seemed inspired with life, and 
a congregation joined their melodious voices, but never 
until to-day did I hear it sung with the full inspiration of 
the soul." 

May 25th, General Thomas's troops, with the fearless 
Hooker in the advance, were sweeping toward Dallas, 
when the enemy crossed their path. The action of New 
Hope Church came off, leaving the Union colors stream- 
ing victoriously over the exulting volunteers. But there 
was a different flag taken from hostile hands. General 
Stoneman, the splendid cavalry officer, captured from the 
Third Texas Cavalry a black flag with a skeleton figured 
upon it together with a death's head and cross-bones. 
This flag is no myth or creation of the wild fancy of some 
terrified trooper, but a reliable thing now in possession of 
a surgeon in the General's command, and seen and han- 
dled by the members of General Schofield's staff. They 
are said to have carried it from the first. What they ex- 
pect to have understood by it is easily arrived at from 
the remark of a member of another Texas regiment who 
was taken prisoner and brought to headquarters. When 
asked by a member of the staff if he belonged to the regi- 
ment which carried the black flag, he replied that he did 
not, else he should not have been brought there. It is, 
perhaps, needless to state that our men are reported to 
have taken no prisoners from the Third Texas Cavalry, 



116 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKMAN. 

While the forces were approaching Dallas, occurred 
one of war's striking contrasts, related by a participant 
in the scenes : 

" Last night the enemy kept up a lively demonstration 
along our whole line sufficient to interfere slightly with 
our slumbers at headquarters. About three o'clock yes- 
terday afternoon Cheney's First Illinois Battery, 20- 
pounder Parrott guns, opened a brisk fire upon a strong 
rebel fortification, one mile from Dallas, which frowns 
upon our lines at an altitude of nearly two hundred feet, 
and from which a fine view is easily obtained of our 
movements. The cannonade was continued till sunset, 
shells bursting in all directions, scattering their death- 
dealing fragments among loyal and disloyal. The mo- 
notony was relieved by the constant arrival of mounted 
orderlies bearing their important despatches of the 
enemy's doings from the respective brigade and division 
commanders, while the music of the Minie balls, as they 
whistled through the trees over our heads, lent enough 
exhilarating excitement to the afternoon hours to dispel 
all thought of drowsiness. While the musketry rattled 
quite lively along our lines, causing the vales to reverber- 
ate, and the loud reports of the deadly rifles rang through 
the mountain forests, the military bands were discoursing 
sentimental and patriotic melodies within sound of the 
rebel lines. 

" So near have our skirmishers advanced to the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 177 

enemy's front, that last night, while a prayer-meeting was 
being held in the rebel camps, our troops could hear quite 
distinctly their appeals to Heaven for peace. I regret to 
state that some of the 'Yankees' were sacrilegious 
enough to interpolate the names of Grant and Sherman, 
just at the point where the traitors invoked health and 
strength to Lee and Johnston. The tone of their petitions 
was for peace, which Gen. Sherman is determined they 
shall not enjoy until he secures that piece of Georgia 
which he has marked out as the reward for his invincible 
army." 

At this crisis in the march, already among the rivers 
flowing to the Gulf, with the iron-works on their banks 
at different points, General Sherman issued an order con- 
taining directions respecting care of the wounded, who 
were to be carried from the field by the musicians and 
others not in the ranks ; and requiring hospitals to be kept 
nearer the moving columns, protecting them by the irreg- 
ularities on the surface, and not by distance. Here is 
what he says of cowards : 

" Skulking, shirking, and straggling behind in time 
of danger, are such high detestable crimes that the Gen- 
eral Commanding would hardly presume them possible, 
were it not for his own observation, and the report that 
at this moment soldiers are found loafing in the cabins, to 
the rear, as far back as Kingston. The only proper fate 

of such miscreants is that they be shot, as common ene- 
12 



178 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

mies to their profession and country ; and all officers and 
patrols sent back to arrest them, will shoot them without 
mercy, on the slightest impudence or resistance. By thus 
wandering in the rear they desert their fellows, who expose 
themselves in battle in the full faith that all on the rolls 
are present, and they expose themselves to capture and 
exchange as good soldiers, to which they have no title. 
It is hereby made the duty of every officer who finds 
such skulkers, to deliver them to any provost guard, re- 
gardless of corps, to be employed in menial or hard 
work, such as repairing roads, digging drains, sinks, &c. 
Officers, if found skulking, will be subjected to the same 
penalty as enlisted men, viz., instant death, or the hardest 
labor and treatment. Absentees not accounted for, should 
always be mustered as deserters, to deprive them of their 
pay and bounties, reserved for honest soldiers." 
- We cannot chronicle all the battles and skirmishes of 
the " running fight" — not from the enemy, but after him. 
The charge upon Allatoona Pass by the Union cavalry, 
June 2d, where General Sherman had flanked General 
Johnston a week before, was a brilliant display of valor 
baptized in blood. 

The first week in June had passed, and General Sher- 
man's troops, after marching more than a hundred miles 
since leaving Chattanooga, through a country unknown 
to them, daily skirmishing with the watchful foe, striking 
against works capable of resisting twice their number of 



LIFE OE GE3TEKAL SHEKHAtf. 179 

troops, and all the time without broken ranks, gaining sub- 
stantial advantage, now fairly confronted General Johnston 
intrenched upon Lost Mountain, Pine Hill, and Kenesaw 
Mountain, three bold peaks connected together by a line 
of ridges, and twenty-six miles north of Atlanta. His line 
was closely circumscribed by ours. In no place were the 
hostile parallels more than a musket-shot apart. The 
rebel right rested on Kenesaw Mountain, on the railroad, 
four miles north of Marietta, their left on Lost Mountain, 
some six miles west of Kenesaw. Between these two 
formidable ridges the rebels had gradually been forced 
back from a triangle, with the apex toward us, until their 
line was" but a faint crescent, their centre still being 
slightly advanced. Right, left, and centre, their position 
was closely invested. Our troops shed parallel after 
parallel, until the country in their rear was furrowed 
with rifle-pits and abatis, and scored with a labyrinth of 
roads. 

" The country is covered with primitive forests, and in 
very few places are there cleared spaces sufficiently large 
to display the movements of a brigade. There is an 
abundance of scrubby undergrowth which hides every 
tiling a few yards distant from view ; and when one in- 
spects the difficulties, it seems hardly credible, though 
such is the case, that we fully developed the enemy's 
position with two days' skirmish." 

A brave officer from whose accurate observations 



180 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAJST. 

passages have already been taken, says of this halting- 
place in the great race for Atlanta : " The ridge in front 
of Kenesaw commences about Wallace's House on the 
Burnt Hickory and Marietta road, and extends thence 
across the railroad behind Noonday Creek about two miles 
in an east-by-north direction. Lost Mountain and Kene- 
saw are about eleven hundred feet high, Pine Hill and 
Brushy Hill about four hundred feet high, and the ridges 
everywhere about one hundred and fifty to two hundred 
feet, or about the same as, and, in fact, not very dissimilar 
to Missionary Ridge at Chattanooga. The enemy was 
everywhere strongly intrenched behind log barricades, 
protected by earth thrown against them, with a ditch, 
formidable abatis, and in many places a chevaux-de-frise 
of sharpened fence-rails besides. Their intrenchments 
were well protected by thick traverses, and at frequent 
intervals arranged with emplacements and embrasures for 
field-guns. The thickness of this parapet was generally 
six to eight feet at top on the infantry line, and from 
twelve to fifteen feet thick at the top, where field-guns 
were posted or where fire from our artillery was antici- 
pated. The amount of digging and intrenching that 
Johnston's army had done is almost incredible. General 
Sherman's tactics resulted in wresting Lost Mountain, 
Pine Hill, the ridge in front of Kenesaw, and Brushy 
Hill from the enemy, and forcing back his two wings, 
Kenesaw Mountain operating as a sort of hinge, until his 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 181 

left -was behind Olley's Creek, and his right behind the 
stream which flows between the houses named on the 
map as McAfFee and Wiley Eoberts. Kenesaw Mountain 
then became the projecting fortress of the defensive line, 
the wings being turned backward from it. It is a rocky 
eminence, rather precipitous, thickly wooded, and crowned 
with batteries. 

" Our respective lines were about eight or nine miles 
in length, from six hundred to seven hundred yards dis- 
tant from each other, and strongly intrenched. Skirmish- 
ing went on incessantly, and artillery duels occurred two 
or three times daily. The enemy at different times made 
some dozen or more assaults, sometimes getting within 
fifty yards of our intrenchments, but were always re- 
pulsed, and generally with heavy loss to them. To gain 
certain positions, we opened a heavy artillery fire upon 
their whole line, pressed their two flanks heavily, and 
made assaults in two places upon their centre. The as- 
saults were unsuccessful ; but the Twenty-third Corps, 
upon their extreme right, gained important advantages 
of position." 

Wrote another : " We fancy out here that the over- 
expectant loyal public are disappointed at the seemingly 
slow progress of out cause in this department. It is only 
necessary to state that the immense amount of supplies 
required for an army of this size, to be transported a dis- 
tance of over two hundred miles through the enemy's 



182 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

country, with, a single-track railroad, is a gigantic under- 
taking. As for subsisting upon the country, that is out 
of the question, the inhabitants themselves depending upon 
the charity of the i ruthless invaders ' for daily sustenance. 
Forage, ordnance stores, and commissary supplies, must 
all flow through this single artery with lightning rapidity, 
if we would replenish these stores as fast as exhausted. 
Nothing but the most thorough organization and complete 
system, with great energy in the various departments, 
could ever have prevented our troops from suffering for 
the want of food and clothing. The public can never ap- 
preciate the innumerable natural obstacles that have em- 
barrassed the operations of this unflinching army. The 
truly loyal do not demand any such explanations as these, 
for with such leaders as Grant and Sherman apprehension 
is groundless ; but of late the Copperhead press, not con- 
tent with misrepresenting and belittling General Grant's 
victorious advance toward the rebel capital, sneer at Gen- 
eral Sherman's generalship, and insinuate already, in the 
face of brilliant successes achieved, that the ' On to At- 
lanta ' movement is a failure. 

" Standing upon the martial-crowned top of Piue 
Mountain, amid the fluttering of those peculiar flags used 
by the Signal Corps, we learned that from this eminence 
were transmitted, in those mysterious signals, all the 
movements of the enemy, and such operations of our 
army as were necessary. In front of you stands the de- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 183 

fiant, frowning Kenesaw, with its thick woods concealing 
the rebel batteries from view that line its steep sides, 
while five or six miles west of Kenesaw, Lost Mountain 
lifts its sugar-loaf crest to the sky, solitary and alone, 
looming up against the gorgeously tinted clouds that deck 
the heavens. Just before you, looking south, can be dis- 
cerned the suburbs of Marietta, with the Georgia Military 
Institute standing out prominently in the picture. Gazing 
down the steep declivity into the thickly-wooded vales 
which lie at the spectator's feet, a magnificent panorama 
of natural beauty is unfurled. So close are the lines of 
the contending armies, that the dense volumes of smoke 
from their camp fires roll up united, but hang in portent- 
ous clouds over friend and foe. 

" While wrapt in silent admiration, mixed with a deep 
sense of awe at the wild and romantic scene before me, 
the bands encamped in the valley which encircles the base 
of the mountain struck up the 'John Brown' or ' Glory 
Hallelujah Chorus/ the echoes of which vibrated, re- 
echoed, and, finally, as the sun's departing rays began to 
fade from the horizon, its pathetic notes died away, or 
mingled with the rattle of musketry which flashed along 
our skirmish line. I can never forget the peculiar im- 
pression photographed upon my mind by the swelling of 
this historical anthem of Freedom's first battle, as it 
grandly sailed over Pine Mountain. My reverie was soon 
disturbed by the sudden roar of many batteries belching 



184: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

out their savage peals with fearful rapidity from both 
sides, and for several minutes quite an artillery duel was 
indulged in, interspersed with short rolls of musketry. It 
was curious to watch the rebel guns, as the smoke lazily 
curled from the cannon's mouth, while the solid shot 
whizzed and shells shrieked over our breastworks." 

Among the incidents of this part of the great cam- 
paign was a dress parade of the rebels on the top of 
Kenesaw Mountain. Our lines were so near, that the 
display was distinctly visible and audible. Below the 
regiment, whose bayonets gleamed in the rays of the set- 
ting sun, were the bristling rifle-pits. A courier sud- 
denly dashed up to the adjutant, and handed him a de- 
spatch from General Johnston, announcing that General 
Sherman " had brought his army so far south, that his 
line of supplies was longer than he could hold ; that he 
was too far from his base — -just where their commanding 
general wished to get him ; that a part of their army 
would hold the railroad, thirty miles north of the Etowah ; 
and that the great railroad bridge at Allatoona had been 
completely destroyed ; that in a few days Sherman would 
be out of supplies, because he could bring no more trains 
through by the railroad. They were urged to maintain a 
bold front, and in a few days the Yankees would be 
forced to retreat. Breathless silence evinces the atten- 
tion which every word of the order receives, as the ad- 
jutant reads. Cheers are about to be given, when hark ! 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 185 

loud whistles from Sherman's cars, at Big Shanty, inter- 
rupt them. The number of whistles increase. Allatoona, 
Ackworth, and Big Shanty depots resound with them. 
Supplies have arrived. The effect can easily be imagined. 
The illustration was so apt, the commentary so appro- 
priate, that it was appreciated at the instant. ' Bully for 
the base of supplies ! ' ' Bully for the long line ! ' ' Three 
cheers for the big bridge ! ' ' Here's your Yankee cars ! ' 
1 There's Sherman's rations ! ' Bedlam was loose along 
their line for a short time." 

There was a tree in front of General Herron's divi- 
sion of the Fifteenth Army Corps, to which was given the 
name of fatal tree. Seven soldiers in succession, who 
hid behind it to shoot, were killed. Then a board was 
put on the tree, on which was chalked " dangerous." 
The rebels soon shot this sign to pieces, when a sergeant 
took his position there, and in less than two minutes two 
Minnie balls pierced his body, making the eighth victim 
of rebel bullets — a tragical item in war's dread work. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

The Battle of Kenesaw Mountain — On to Marietta — Across the Chattahoochio 
— General Johnston succeeded by General Hood— Marching and Fighting- 
Death of McPherson— Eight at Jonesboro — The last struggle for Atlanta — 
Victory. 

UNE 14th, General Hooker was on the right and 
front of the rebel intrenchments, General Howard 
' on the left and front. A heavy cannonading was 
opened, filling the air with bursting shells and 
whistling balls, till the old mountains echoed with 
the thunder and shouts of battle, and hung upon their 
tops the streamers of its sulphurous smoke. Look away 
among the rebel battalions, and mark that daring and 
conspicuous officer, with the air of dignified, cultivated, 
and mature manhood. With words of command on his 
lips, he reels, and falls from his steed. The fatal missile 
has opened the life current of the Bishop and General 
Polk, the severest loss to the rebels of that sanguinary day. 
The next morning brightened the summit of Pine 
Mountain without the gleaming bayonets and bristling 




LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 187 

cannon on which the sunset rays fell a few hours before ; 
the enemy had abandoned the summit during the night. 
The heroic Thomas and Schofield immediately advanced, 
and found the stubborn foe again strongly intrenched 
along a range of rocky hills running from Kenesaw to 
Lost Mountain. General McPherson crowded the op- 
posing lines on the left. The unyielding and steady ad- 
vance of the Union forces made the sides of Lost Moun- 
tain too warm for the rebels, and on the 17th, just when 
General Sherman was about to order a charge, they 
withdrew, leaving in our hands not only the formidable 
heights, but the " admirable breastworks connecting it 
with Kenesaw Mountain." Onward through dark forests 
and across deep ravines, the resolute chief led the " boys," 
fighting every step of the way, toward the next fiery 
barrier of bullets and steel. This was found at Kenesaw. 
The fastness had become the last defence against the 
Northern troops among the peaks which had for more 
than two weeks frowned upon them. It was the enemy's 
front, the outer lines having fallen back to cover Marietta 
and the railroad to the Cbattahoochie. 

Sadly glorious deeds were done in these wilderness 
fights. When the One Hundred and Nineteenth New 
ITork regiment was so near the hostile ranks that a halt to 
throw up a temporary breastwork of logs was necessary, 
by some singular and melancholy mistake a party of 
twelve or fifteen men were ordered to advance beyond 



188 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

these works on picket duty. Though knowing that it 
was almost certain death to show their heads above the 
walls of their little fort, still they obeyed without question 
or hesitation. They had advanced scarcely more than 
a rod beyond their comrades, when a heavy volley of 
musketry prostrated to the ground every man save two ! 
Two were killed instantly, and the rest wounded more or 
less severely. All of the wounded, however, were able to 
drag themselves back and escape, except one poor fellow, 
Sergeant Guider, who was so badly wounded that he 
could not stir from his place. There he lay almost with- 
in arms-length of his comrades, and yet they were power- 
less to rescue him or give him aid, so galling was the 
rebel fire. One bolder than the rest made the hazardous 
attempt, but scarcely had he got over the breastworks 
when he fell severely wounded. They endeavored to 
allay his raging thirst by throwing to him canteens of 
water, and even one of these was pierced by a rebel 
bullet. Finally, as they could not go over the breast- 
works, they dug a way under them with no other imple- 
ments than their bayonets, and through it two men crawl- 
ed and succeeded in reaching him unhurt. Just as they 
reached him their comrades in the rear gave an exultant 
cheer, which elicited from the rebels another volley. A 
fatal ball pierced the poor fellow's breast for a second time, 
and he had only time to murmur feebly to his rescuers, 
( ' Now I die content ; I am in your hands," and expired. 



LIFE OF GEXEBAL SHERMAN. 189 

Then came the terrible assault upon the stronghold to 
dislodge the enemy. Oh, how bravely yet vainly did the 
columns to whom the voice of their leader was enough 
to take them anywhere, clash against the rocks terraced 
with cannon ! Again the charge sounded, and, like tides 
thundering on the face of Gibraltar, the lion-hearted 
Hooker hurled his forces upon the death-dealing intrench- 
ments. There was an Illinois regiment, whose sublime 
patriotism, like that of the One Hundred and Nineteenth 
New York, shed immortal radiance on the sanguinary 
field, assuring all men that our conflict is no tragical 
play of ambition, or murderous work of revenge. 

" In the bloody charge led by General Hooker, the 
Twenty-seventh Illinois was pressing upon the rebel works ; 
and when they had approached very near them, Michael 
Delaney, the color-bearer, rushed some ten paces forward 
ahead of his regiment, and holding aloft the starry ban- 
ner of his country, shouted to his comrades to follow. 
Just then a ball struck his left arm, inflicting a flesh 
wound, from which the blood trickled in profuse currents. 
Still grasping the flag, and keeping it to the breeze, he 
drew his revolver, and rushing forward, leaped upon the 
enemy's works, waving his flag, and filing his pistol upon 
the foe. Thus, standing upon the enemy's works, his 
pistol in hand, and his colors streaming over his head, 
two rebels approached him, one on each side, and thrust 
their bayonets into the sides of the hero martyr. He felt 



190 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

the cold steel pierce to the very quick of his young life, 
yet he did not falter. With the blood gushing from his 
wounds, he clasped the flag to his breast, and bore it back 
in safety to his comrades, among whom he soon after 
bled to death. Though no star or eagle decorated his 
shoulders, he is of the country's heroes, his name stamped 
among theirs, high on the roll of honor. Though no 
sculptured marble may mark the spot of his lonely grave 
among the melancholy pines of northern Georgia, his in- 
trepid bravery entitles him to the homage of all who 
honor the flag he so bravely bore, and laid down his life 
to save. The Twenty-seventh Illinois regiment suffered 
heavily, but behaved nobly, in this fierce and unequal 
contest." 

And the unresting, yet patient, sagacious com- 
mander, in his own report, tells us how he alarmed 
his antagonist, and drew him away from the slopes 
of Kenesaw to save his path of retreat : " On the 1st 
of July General MePherson was ordered to throw his 
whole army by the right down to and threaten Nickajack 
Creek and Turner's Ferry, across Chattahoochie. Gen- 
eral MePherson commenced his movement on the night 
of July 2d, and the effect was instantaneous. The next 
morning Kenesaw was abandoned, and with the first 
dawn of day I saw our skirmishers appear on the moun- 
tain top. General Thomas's whole line was then moved 
forward to the railroad, and turned south in pursuit tow- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMATT. 191 

ard the Chattalioochie. In person I entered Marietta 
at 8.30 o'clock in the morning, just as the enemy* s cavalry 
vacated the place. General Logan's corps of General 
McPherson's army, which had not moved far, was order- 
ed back into Marietta by the main road, and General 
McPherson and General Schofield were instructed to cross 
^ickajack, and attack the enemy in flank and rear, and, 
if possible, to catch him in the confusion of crossing the 
Chattalioochie ; but Johnston had foreseen and provided 
against all this, and had covered his movement well. He 
had intrenched a strong ttte-du-pont at the Chattahoochie, 
with an advanced intrenched line across the road at 
Smyrna camp-meeting ground, five miles from Marietta." 
Strange scenes, indeed, are witnessed in this civil war : 
" The two armies in Georgia met in the persons of some 
of their superior officers — Generals Clayborne, Cheatham, 
Hindman, and Maney — parties having been detailed from 
each by mutual agreement, for the burial of their dead. 
Grouped together in seemingly fraternal unity were offi- 
cers and men of both contending armies, who but five 
minutes before were engaged in the work of slaughter 
and death. Cheatham looked rugged and healthy, though 
seemingly sad and despondent. He wore his "fatigue" 
dress, a blue flannel shirt, black necktie, gray homespun 
pantaloons, and slouch black hat. Colonel Clancy, of the 
Fifty-second Ohio, in talking to Generals Maney and 
Hindman, remarked that it was a sad state of affairs tc 



192 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

witness human beings of a common origin and nationality 
dig two hours every dajr to bury the dead of twenty 
minutes' fighting. " Yes, yes, indeed," said one, " but if 
the settlement of this thing were left to our armies there 
would be peace and good fellowship established in two 
hours." 

With the "forward to Atlanta!" ringing over the 
proud ranks of Generals Logan, Howard, Palmer, and 
Hooker, moving out through the enemy's works, and de- 
filing into the valley along the railroad toward Marietta, 
let us look into the deserted mountain fortress. First you 
will notice twenty feet in front of the battlements, to pre- 
vent approach, the small trees cut down and sharpened, 
presenting an impenetrable thicket of pointed green-wood 
under the " dread artillery." Besides, " hay-rakes," as 
they are called by the " boys," are added. They are trees 
half of a foot in diameter, pierced with two rows of auger 
holes about the same distance apart, through which are 
driven sticks sharp at both ends — no trifling barrier to a 
successful charge. Inside of the defences all the means 
of strength suggested by military art had been employed 
to make them impregnable. But before the irresistible 
Sherman, General Johnston is obliged to retreat, hasten- 
ing on toward the bulwarks of Atlanta. 

At Smyrna, General Sherman continues : " General 
Thomas found him, his front covered by a good parapet, 
and his flanks behind the Nickajack and Rottenwood 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 193 

Creeks. Ordering a garrison for Marietta, and General 
Logan to join his own army near the mouth of Nickajack, 
I overtook General Thomas at Smyrna. On the 4th of 
July we pushed a strong skirmish line down the main 
road, capturing the entire line of the enemy's pits, and 
made strong demonstrations along Nickajack Creek, and 
about Turner's Ferry. This had the desired effect, and 
the next morning the enemy was gone, and the army 
moved to the Chattahoochie, General Thomas's left flank 
resting on it near Price's Ferry, General McPherson's 
right at the mouth of Nickajack, and General Schofield in 
reserve ; the enemy lay behind a line of unusual strength, 
covering the railroad and pontoon bridges and beyond the 
Chattahoochie." 

The commander-in-chief now began to cast about for 
places to ford the Chattahoochie, whose waters crossed 
his path. He had secured three safe points of passage 
above his enemy, with good roads running toward the 
city, ten miles distant, on which his eager eye was 
fixed. 

Marietta, where General Johnston paused to make a 
faint resistance before reaching the river, is a pleasant 
town which before the war contained a thousand inhab- 
itants, with neat villas and elegant brick mansions. 
Nearly all the families left before or with the rebel 
army on their retreat, leaving their deserted houses and 
gardens as trophies for the " invading horde of Lincoln- 
13 



194 LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

ites." But about forty houses were occupied, principally 
by rabid rebel women, who, as our officers rode through 
the town, betrayed evident uneasiness, rushing into their 
Louses in some instances, and locking their doors against 
all callers who politely asked admittance. The town is 
beautifully situated in the Kenesaw valley, with nearly 
all the houses nestling in beautiful groves of southern 
trees that gave forth fragrant odors, to mingle with the 
air that is wafted to the mountain resort, where the 
ladies made their lookout to witness the efforts of the 
Federals to drive back Johnston and his followers. Our 
troops occupied the town about ten o'clock, while the 
bells of the Episcopal Church pealed out the call to pub- 
lic worship. The minister and the congregation were 
not interrupted in their devotions, the troops behaved 
very orderly, and, after a brief rest, resumed the march 
to the Chattahoochie. 

While here, the chieftain wrote the following noble 
letter to a friend of former days, the wife of Rev. Charles 
Bo wen, in reply to a note reminding him of the cherished 
past in their social relations, and of the melancholy present 
with its cruel " Yankee invasion." 

"Headquarters Military Division op the Mississippi, ) 
In the Field near Marietta, Ga., June 30. ) 

" Mrs. Anna Gibnan JBowen, Baltimore, Md. 

" Dear Madam : Your welcome letter of June 18th, 
came to me here amid the sound of battle, and, as you 



* LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 195 

say, little did I dream, when I knew you, playing as a 
school-girl on Sullivan's Island beach, that I should con- 
trol a vast army, pointing, like the swarm of Alaric, tow- 
ard the plains of the South. Why, oh why is this ? If 
I know my own heart it beats as warmly as ever toward 
those kind and generous families that greeted us with 
such warm hospitality in days long past but still present 
in memory, and to-day, were Frank* and Mrs. Porcher, 
and Eliza Gilman, and Mary Lamb, and Margaret Blake, 
the Barksdales, the Quashis, the Pryors, indeed any and 
all of our cherished circle, their children, or even their 
children's children, to come to me as of old, the stern 
feelings of duty and conviction would melt as snow before 
the genial sun, and 1 believe I would strip my own chil- 
dren that they might be sheltered ; and yet they call me 
barbarian, vandal, and monster, and all the epithets that 
language can invent that are significant of malignity and 
hate. All I pretend to say, on earth as in Heaven, man 
must submit to some arbiter. He must not throw off 
his allegiance to his Government or his God without 
just reason and cause. The South has no cause ; 
not even a pretext. Indeed, by her unjustifiable course 
she has thrown away the proud history of the past, and 
laid open her fair country to the tread of devastating 
war. She bantered and bullied us to the conflict. Had 
we declined battle, America would have sunk back^ 
coward and craven, meriting the contempt of all man- 



196 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

kind. As a nation, we were forced to accept battle, and 
that once begun, it has gone on till the war has assumed 
proportions at which even we in the hurly-burly some- 
times stand aghast. I would not subjugate the South in 
the term so offensively assumed, but I would make every 
citizen of the land obey the common law, submit to the 
same that we do — no worse, no better — our equals and 
not our superiors. I know and you know that there 
were young men in our day, now no longer young, but 
who control their fellows, who assumed to the gentlemen 
of the South a superiority of courage and manhood, and 
boastingly defied us of northern birth to arms. God 
knows how reluctantly we accepted the issue, but once 
the issue joined, like the northern race in other ages, 
though slow to anger, once aroused are more terrible 
than the more inflammable of the South. Even yet my 
heart bleeds when I see the carnage of battle, the desola- 
tion of homes, the bitter anguish of families ; but the very 
moment the men of the South say that instead of appeal- 
ing to war they should have appealed to reason, to our 
Congress, to our courts, to religion, and to the experience 
of history, then will I say Peace — Peace ; go back to your 
point of error, and resume your places as American citi- 
zens, with all their proud heritages. Whether I shall 
live to see this period is problematical, but you may, and 
may tell your mother and sisters that I never forgot one 
kind look or greeting, or ever wished to efface its remem- 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMATT. 197 

brance ; but in putting on the armor of war I did it that 
our common country should not perish in infamy and dis- 
honor. I am married, have a wife and six children living 
in Lancaster, Ohio. My course has been an eventful one, 
but I hope when the clouds of anger and passion are dis- 
persed, and truth emerges bright and clear, you and all 
who knew me in early years will not blush that we were 
once dear friends. Tell Eliza for me that I hope she 
may live to realize that the doctrine of ' secession' is as 
monstrous in our civil code as disobedience was in the 
Divine law. And should the fortunes of war ever bring 
you or your sisters, or any of our old clique under the 
shelter of my authority, I do not believe they will have 
cause to regret it. Give my love to your children, and 
the assurance of my respects to your honored husband. 
. " Truly, W. T. Shebman." 

Wrote a loyal pen in that grand cavalcade of freedom 
from the heights on the banks of the Chattahoochie : 
" The view is exceedingly interesting. Away off to the 
southeast, ten miles distant, can be distinctly seen the 
farm-houses that nestle in the forests around Atlanta — 
the tall spires of the churches and public buildings, and 
the fortifications that guard the approaches to the ' Gate 
City.' Stretching away to the south, the eye beholds a 
vast forest, dotted by innumerable plantations and villages. 
Nearer, almost at the base of the mountain, the Ser- 



198 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEKMAN. 

pentine River can be seen through the thick growth of 
trees that line its banks, while the military, State, and 
private roads to the east and south, remind the beholder 
of a huge spider's web, so numerous are they, and form- 
ing so many angles. 

" On the 4th the curiosity of the troops to see Atlanta 
was so strong, that stragglers left their regiments and 
climbed the side from which they viewed the promised 
land to which they are ' pilgrimaging.' Many of the 
poor fellows, I fear, will never live to obtain a nearer 
view, as a desperate defence will be made ere Johnston 
evacuates it for another position, and by surrendering it 
open the doors for greater Federal success beyond and on 
either side." 

July 1 Oth found General Sherman in possession of the 
country north and west of the river, with only the smok- 
ing ruins of the enemy's bridges left to tell of his hurried 
retreat toward Atlanta, for whose gates the race was re- 
newed. Manoeuvring, marching, and skirmishing again, 
marked the movements of the contending armies. 

I shall let you read further the great commander's 
own story of the chase after leaving the banks of the 
river, in which he pays a passing tribute to the gallant 
McPherson : 

" On the 21st of July we felt the enemy in his in- 
trenched position, which was found to crown the heights 
overlooking the comparatively open ground of the valley 



LIFE OF GENES AL SHEEMA2T. 199 

of Peacli-tree Creek, his right beyond the Augusta road 
to the east, and his left well toward Turner's Ferry, on 
the Chattahoochie, at a general distance from Atlanta of 
about four miles. 

u Ou the morning of the 2 2d, somewhat to my sur- 
prise, this whole line was found abandoned, and I confess 
I thought the enemy had resolved to give us Atlanta 
without further contest ; but General Johnston had been 
relieved of his command, and General Hood substituted. 
A new policy seemed resolved on, of which the bold 
attack on our right was the index. Our advancing ranks 
swept across the strong and well-finished parapet of the 
enemy, and closed in upon Atlanta, until we occupied a 
line in the form of a general circle of about two miles 
radius, when we again found him occupying in force 
a line of finished redoubts, which had been prepared 
for more than a year, covering all the roads leading into 
Atlanta ; and we found him also busy in connecting these 
redoubts with curtains strengthened by rifle trenches, 
abatis, and chevaux-de-frise. 

" General McPherson, who had advanced from De- 
catur, continued to follow substantially the railroad, with 
the Fifteenth Corps, General Logan ; the Seventeenth, 
General Blair, on its left ; and the Sixteenth, General 
Dodge, on its right ; but as the general advance of all 
the armies contracted the circle, the Sixteenth Corps, 
General Dodge, was thrown out of line by the Fifteenth 



200 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

connecting on the right with General Schofield near the 
Howard House. General McPherson, the night before, 
had gained a high hill to the south and east of the rail- 
road, where the Seventeenth Corps had, after a severe 
fight, driven the enemy, and it gave him a most com- 
manding position, within easy view of the very heart of 
the city. He had thrown out working parties to it, and 
was making preparations to occupy it in strength with 
batteries. The Sixteenth Corps, General Dodge, was 
ordered from right to left to occupy this position and 
make it a strong general left flank. General Dodge was 
moving by a diagonal path, or wagon track, leading from 
the Decatur road in the direction of General Blair's left 
flank. General McPherson remained with me until near 
noon, when some reports reaching us that indicated a 
movement of the enemy on that flank, he mounted and 
rode away with his staff. I must here also state that the 
day before I had detached General Garrard's cavalry to 
go to Covington, on the Augusta road, forty- two miles 
east of Atlanta, and from that point to send detachments 
to break the two important bridges across the Yellow and 
Ulcofauhatchee Rivers, tributaries of Ocmulgee, and Gen- 
eral McPherson had also left his wagon train at Decatur 
under a guard of three regiments, commanded by Colonel, 
now General Sprague. Soon after General McPherson 
left me at the Howard House, as before described, I 
heard the sounds of musketry to our left rear— at first 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 201 

mere pattering shots, but soon they grew in volume, ac- 
companied with artillery, and about the same time the 
sound of guns was heard in the direction of Decatur. 
No doubt could longer be entertained of the enemy's plan 
of action, which was to throw a superior force on our 
left flank, while he held us with his forts in front, the 
only question being as to the amount of force he could 
employ at that point. I hastily transmitted orders to all 
points of our centre and- right to press forward, and to 
give full employment to all the enemy in his lines, and for 
General Schofield to hold as large a force in reserve as 
possible, awaiting developments. Not more than half an 
hour after General McPherson had left me, viz., about 
12^ p. m. of the 22d, his adjutant-general, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Clark, rode up and reported that General Mc- 
Pherson was either dead or a prisoner ; that he had rid- 
den from me to General Dodge's column, moving as here- 
tofore described, and had sent off nearly all his staff and 
orderlies on various errands, and himself had passed into 
a narrow path or road that led to the left and rear of 
General Giles A. Smith's division, which was General 
Blair's extreme left ; that a few minutes after he had en- 
tered the woods a sharp volley was heard in that direc- 
tion, and his horse had come out riderless, having two 
wounds. The suddenness of this terrible calamity would 
have overwhelmed me with grief, but the living demanded 
my whole thoughts. I instantly despatched a staff officer 



202 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

to General John A. Logan, commanding the Fifteenth 
Corps, to tell him what had happened ; that he must 
assume command of the Army of the Tennessee, and 
hold stubbornly the ground already chosen. 

" But among the dead was Major-General McPherson, 
whose body was recovered and brought to me in the heat 
of battle, and I had it sent, in charge of his personal staff, 
back to Marietta, on its way to his northern home. He 
was a noble youth, of striking personal appearance, of 
the highest professional capacity, and with a heart abound- 
ing in kindness, that drew to him the affections of all men. 
His sudden death devolved the command of the Army of 
the Tennessee on the no less brave and gallant General 
Logan, who nobly sustained his reputation and that of his 
veteran army, and avenged the death of his comrade and 
commander." 

What high appreciation of a gifted and gallant officer, 
tender regard, and sublime self-control, are displayed in 
those words from the field of carnage ! Lieutenant-Gen- 
eral Grant was not ashamed to weep in his tent over Mc- 
Pherson's death ; in the closing circle of conflict around 
Atlanta, General Sherman could only feel the pang of 
poignant regret, and marshal the unfallen for further and 
bloodier strife. 

At this crisis, Congress having passed a law authoriz- 
ing the organization of colored troops, a Massachusetts 
State Agent applied to him to know where, in the rebel 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 203 

States penetrated by our troops, would be the best points 
for recruiting stations. His letter in reply will possess 
interest, because while it furnishes the desired informa- 
tion, it contains the writer's views of the subject. The 
best treasure, and the best blood of the nation, has been 
his estimate of the great and glorious sacrifice demanded 
in our struggle for national existence. He scorns all 
evasions of duty, and resorts to doubtful expedients, for 
relief from any of the burdens of such a war. 

" Headquarters Military Division op the Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, near Atlanta, Ga., July 30, 1864. \ 

" Sir : Yours from Chattanooga, July 28th, is re- 
ceived, notifying me of your appointment by your State 
as lieutenant-colonel and provost-marshal of Georgia, Ala- 
bama, and Mississippi, under the act of Congress approved 
July 4, 1864, to recruit volunteers to be credited to the 
States respectively. On applying to General Webster, at 
Nashville, he will grant you a pass through our lines to 
those States, and, as I have had considerable experience 
in those States, would suggest recruiting depots to be es- 
tablished at Macon and Columbus, Miss., Selma, Mont- 
gomery, and Mobile, Alabama, and Columbus, Milledge- 
ville, and Savannah, Georgia. I do not see that the law 
restricts you to black recruits, but you are at liberty to 
collect white recruits also. It is waste of time and 
money to open rendezvous in Northwest Georgia, for I 



204 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

assure you I have not seen an able-bodied man, black or 
white, there, fit for a soldier who was not in this army or 
the one opposed to it. 

" You speak of the impression going abroad that I 
am opposed to the organization of colored regiments. 
My opinions are usually very positive, and there is no 
reason why you should not know them. Though enter- 
taining profound reverence for our Congress, I do doubt 
their wisdom in the passage of this law : 

" 1st. Because civilian agents about an army are a 
nuisance. 

" 2d. The duty of citizens to fight for their country 
is too sacred a one to be peddled off by buying up the 
refuse of other States. 

" 3d. It is unjust to the brave soldiers and volunteers 
who are fighting, as those who compose this army do, to 
place them on a par with the class of recruits you are after. 

" 4th. The negro is in a transition state, and is not 
the equal of the white man. 

" 5th. He is liberated from his bondage by the act 
of war ; and the armies in the field are entitled to all his 
assistance and labor and fighting in addition to the proper 
quotas of the States. 

" 6th. This bidding and bantering for recruits, white 
and black, has delayed the reenforcement of our armies 
at the times when such reinforcements would have 
enabled us to make our successes permanent. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 205 

" 7th. The law is an experiment which, pending war, 
is unwise and unsafe, and has delayed the universal draft 
which I firmly believe will become necessary to over- 
come the wide-spread resistance offered us ; and I also 
believe the universal draft will be wise and beneficial ; 
for under the Providence of God it will separate the 
sheep from the goats, and demonstrate what citizens will 
fight for their country, and what will only talk. 

" No one will infer from this that I am not a friend 
to the negro as well as the white race. I contend that 
the treason and rebellion of the master freed the slave, 
and the armies I have commanded have conducted to safe 
points more negroes than those of any general officer in 
the army ; but I prefer negroes for pioneers, teamsters, 
cooks, and servants, others gradually to experiment in 
the art of the soldier, beginning with the duties of local 
garrisons, such as we had at Memphis, Vicksburg, 
Natchez, Nashville, and Chattanooga ; but I would not 
draw on the poor race for too large a proportion of its 
active, athletic young men, for some must remain to seek 
new homes and provide for the old and young, the feeble 
and helpless. These are some of my peculiar notions, 
but I assure you they are shared by a large proportion 
of our fighting men." 

The honesty, directness, and philanthropy of these 
views, will command respect from those who opposed 
them, and would raise an army of emancipated slaves. 



206 LITE OF GENEEAL SHEKMAN. 

With him it was not contempt of the negro, but the 
scorn of a timid, easy policy by the North, while exactly 
the opposite course was taken by the South. 

General Sherman now ordered from Chattanooga four 
rifled cannon, whose calibre was four and a half inches, 
and whose signals of his arrival were to be dropped into 
streets of Atlanta. August 10th, these messengers of 
peace with victory, arrived and began their negotiations. 
Night and day they sent their globes of fire into the city, 
kindling conflagrations and spreading confusion and 
terror on every hand. But the enemy had come to the 
strongest position along the entire war-path between 
Chattanooga and the ocean ; and although the " Gate 
City" was made a heap of ruins, he was resolved to 
hold the forts, which would guard the way, even over the 
smoking embers of destruction. 

The fine cavalry officer, General Stoneman, was sent 
on a raid to the Macon Railroad, in which he was taken 
prisoner. This had so elated the rebels they began to 
think of "turning the tables" on General Sherman. 
Suddenly Major-General Wheeler appeared before Dal- 
ton, which you recollect was the first important position 
taken after leaving Chattanooga, with a force of infantry 
and cavalry variously reported at from seventeen hun- 
dred to five thousand men. It was defended by a garri- 
son of four hundred men under Colonel Seibold. Ap- 
proaching the town in line of battle, General Wheeler 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 207 

demanded the surrender of the place in the following 
terms : "To prevent the effusion of blood, I have the 
honor to demand the immediate and unconditional sur- 
render of the forces under your command at this garri- 
son. ' To which Colonel Seibold replied : " I have been 
placed here to defend the post, but not to surrender it. 
B. Seibold, commanding U. S. forces." 

On the receipt of this reply, an attack was made on 
the garrison, who retired into their defences, where they 
succeeded in holding their position until the arrival of 
General Steedman with re enforcements from Chatta- 
nooga, when the rebels were forced to retreat after in- 
flicting some slight damage to the railroad track near 
Dalton. 

A few days later General Sherman issued orders for 
a general advance of the army by the right flank. All 
the sick, with surplus wagons and encumbrances of every 
kind, were sent back to the intrenched position near the 
river bridge, reducing the number of wagons to three 
thousand and of ambulances to one thousand ; and on the 
night of August 25th the canvas city gave place to the 
marshalled host, moving forward in the darkness to 
gather more closely the fatal cordon around Atlanta. 
The following night flung its shadows upon the still 
marching thousands, getting nearer and nearer the throat 
of the foe. The Army of the Tennessee moved to the 
West Point Railroad, when General Sherman ordered 



208 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

" a day's work to be expended in destroying the road, 
and it was done with a will," to use his own words. 
Having surveyed in person the ruins, and satisfied with 
the thoroughness of the devastation,, he led the whole 
army forward. 

General Howard moved on the right toward Jones- 
boro', General Thomas had the centre, whose goal was 
Conch's, on the Decatur and Fayetteville road, and Gen- 
eral Schofield the extreme left. To get a clear impres- 
sion of the army operations here, you will need the help 
of a large map, on which the railroads and towns about 
Atlanta can be seen in their relation to it. Meanwhile 
General Hood was growing merry over a fancied retreat by 
the manoeuvring and confident Sherman. The long trains 
moving to the rear, and the course of the battalions back- 
ward toward Sandtown on the Chattahochie, looked like 
it. But the commander knew his enemy and the way 
to trap him. 

August 28th, the grand army was keeping cheerful 
step to "the music of the march to conflict and victory ; 
the long columns of warriors proudly gazing after their 
chief, who with equal pride cared for and led them to the 
fields of conquest. 

Atlanta was now the object of enthusiastic interest. 
It was profound strategy which divided the rebel forces 
at Jonesboro' and Atlanta, throwing the Union army like 
a wedge between them, thus making the fall of Atlanta 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 209 

certain : " During the night of the 28th, the rest 
of the army being well under way, the Twenty-third 
Corps withdrew and followed the general movement 
toward the Macon Road, General Schofield timing his 
movements with the corps further on the left, which had 
the longer arc of the circle to traverse. The general line 
of march for the Twenty-third Corps was toward the 
junction of the two railroads at East Point, the Third 
division, under General Cox, holding the advance, and 
with the Second Division, under General Hascall, occa- 
sionally erecting temporary works to guard against 
threatened attacks from the enemy, who were on the 
alert against this demonstration. On the 31st these two 
divisions effected a junction with General Stanley, of the 
Fourth Corps. General Hascall's division went into 
position to guard the left toward East Point, and General 
Cox pushed forward toward the Macon road, which was 
reached by two or three o'clock p. m., General Stanley, 
of the Fourth Corps, striking it about the same time. 
The troops of these two corps at once set to work fortify- 
ing, while details were sent out, which destroyed the 
track for miles. No opposition was encountered, and by 
dark strong works had been thrown up, facing east and 
south, the work of destruction on the railroad being con- 
tinued through the night. On the morning of the 1st of 
September, Newton's and Kimball's divisions were march- 
ed along the line of the railroad the length of a brigade 
14 



210 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

front, and at a given signal the ties and rails were lifted 
from their bed, piled up and burnt. Thus a mile and a 
half was turned up and destroyed in half an hour. An 
advance of another mile and a half was then made down 
the road, and the operation repeated. Thus alternately 
marching and destroying the road, the two divisions 
marched a distance of ten miles, to within two miles of 
Jonesboro', where they formed a junction with the Four- 
teenth Corps. Soon after the Twenty-third Corps, which 
followed the Fourth, came into position on its left. Fur- 
ther to the left was the Army of Tennessee. 

" Previous to this the enemy had discovered the direc- 
tion of General Sherman's march, and two corps under 
Hardee had been sent to confront him at Jonesboro', 
Hood meanwhile remaining for the defence of Atlanta. 
Daring the night of August 30th the march of a rebel 
column was heard on our left and centre, and in the 
morning two corps were found massed on our right. At 
daybreak, the Second brigade of Hazen's division of the 
Fifteenth Corps advanced and drove the enemy from a 
hill, which gave our artillery command at Jonesboro', 
and the railroad less than one half mile distant. This 
success was immediately followed up by the reinforce- 
ment of the brigade holding the hill, by a brigade from 
Osterhaus' division. Toward three p. m. the enemy ap- 
peared in front of Hazen's position, Lee's corps advancing 
to the assault through a field of corn, while Hardee's 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 211 

Corps attempted a flanking movement on the right, which 
was checked by Harrow's division. Both divisions were 
soon engaged in checking the desperate and determined 
assault with which the enemy sought to overwhelm them. 
The rebels were driven back, only to rally again and 
again for the assault, until after two hours of desperate 
fighting they were finally repulsed. They had fortunate- 
ly struck a position which we held too strongly to be 
easily dislodged. A reenforcement of two regiments 
were sent during the attack, by General Howard to Gen- 
eral Wood, and a brigade of the Seventeenth Corps, 
Colonel Bryant's, to General Hazen. Failing in this 
assault, Cleburne's rebel division marched to our extreme 
right, and assaulted Kilpatrick, who held the bridge on 
Flint River. General Kilpatrick succeeded, however, in 
holding his position until relieved by General Giles B. 
Smith's division. 

" During the night Hardee despatched Lee's corps to 
look after the safety of Atlanta, so that but a single rebel 
corps was found opposed to our army on the morning of 
September 1st. This corps lay in position in front of 
Jonesboro', with their right resting on the railroad. 
Having failed in the assault with which they hoped to 
drive back our army, they were prepared to resist its 
further advance in the best position they could secure. 
They had a large number of guns in position, which did 
effective service during the day. Late in the afternoon 



212 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

General Davis formed his troops for a charge upon the 
enemy's position ; Brigadier-General Carlin's division on 
the left, and Brigadier-General Morgan, joining the 
Fifteenth Corps on the right, General Baird being in 
reserve. The line was formed in the arc of a circle on 
the edge of the woods, the two flanks thrown forward 
overlapping the enemy, who held a position on some com- 
manding ridges in front, covering Jonesboro'. In the 
face of a deadly fire of musketry, shell, and canister, the 
gallant Fourteenth Corps charged upon the rebel position, 
driving them from their breastworks and capturing many 
prisoners, including Brigadier-General Go van, several col- 
onels and other commissioned officers. Eight guns were 
also taken, among them part of Loomis's battery captured 
at Chickamauga. The troops captured belonged to the 
fighting division of Cleburne. The approach of night pre- 
vented pursuit of the broken columns of the rebels, who 
escaped under cover of the darkness. 

" At daybreak on the 2d, the Fourth and Twenty-third 
Corps advanced in pursuit of the retreating rebels, who 
came to bay near Lovejoy's Station, six miles beyond 
Jonesboro', toward Macon, taking position on a wooded 
ridge behind a swamp bordering a creek. Some skirmish- 
ing was had with the enemy's first line until night, which 
was spent by our troops in intrenching. The enemy being 
found in strong position, and his retreat being assured, no 
further advance was attempted. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 213 

" Meantime Atlanta was alive with excitement. De- 
spair had succeeded confidence as it became known that 
Hardee had been driven from Jonesboro' south, while 
Hood was left in Atlanta with his communications sev- 
ered, and our army threatening both from the north and 
the south. Early on Thursday, September 1st, the re- 
moval of supplies and ammunition commenced, and was 
continued through the day. Large quantities of provisions 
that could not be removed were distributed to the citizens, 
the storehouses at the same time being thrown open to the 
troops as they passed through the city. The rolling stock 
of the railroad, consisting of about one hundred cars and 
six engines, was gathered together and destroyed. The 
cars were laden with the surplus ammunition taken out 
on the Augusta Railroad, and set on fire and blown up, 
making the earth tremble with the explosion. Over one 
thousand bales of cotton were also given to the torch. 
The scene of confusion and excitement among the town's 
people when it became evident that the city was to be 
evacuated, is beyond description. Every possible and 
impossible vehicle was brought into requisition to carry 
away the effects of the inhabitants, who, in sorrowful 
procession, took up their line of march toward the 
South. For the third time the peripatetic Memphis 
Appeal was on the wing, its editor reporting himself at 
this time ' thoroughly demoralized.' From the shanties 
and cellars of the city swarmed out the lower classes of 



214 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 

the population to seize what they could from the general 
wreck. The explosion of ammunition was heard by General 
Slocum, of the Twentieth Corps, seven miles distant. 
Suspecting the cause, he sent out a heavy column to re- 
connoitre at daybreak on the morning of the 2d instant. 
They met with no opposition, and pushed forward on the 
roads leading into Atlanta from the north and northwest. 
Arriving near the city, they were met by the mayor, Mr. 
Calhoun, who formally surrendered the city. The formal- 
ities disposed of, our troops entered Atlanta with banners 
flying and music playing, the inhabitants looking on in 
silence. General Slocum established his headquarters at 
the Trout House, the principal hotel of the city. Eleven 
heavy guns, mostly sixty-six pounders, were found in the 
forts of the city, and others were subsequently discovered 
buried in fictitious graves. About three thousand mus- 
kets, in good order, and three locomotives were also se- 
cured, besides large quantities of manufactured tobacco. 
About two hundred rebel stragglers were gathered up by 
the Second Massachusetts, which was detailed for pro- 
vost duty, its colonel, Cogswell, being appointed provost- 
marshal. But a small proportion of the inhabitants re- 
mained in the city, and these principally of the lower 
classes, and tradesmen who proposed to make an honest 
penny out of the army. Their hopes were speedily cut 
short by a peremptory order from General Sherman or- 
dering all civilians from the city." 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 215 

In looking back upon this campaign, a very remark- 
able feature of it was the protection of his line of com- 
munication : ■ " It was not a little precarious, and more 
than once aroused the anxiety of the nation. It might 
well occasion solicitude. His base was, in one sense, not 
at Chattanooga, but at Nashville ; with the former point 
as a secondary base. Accordingly, the enemy bent his 
efforts not only to breaking the railroad between Atlanta 
and Einggold, striking it at Dalton and Calhoun, but also 
to raiding on the road from Chattanooga back to Nash- 
ville. From Atlanta to Chattanooga the railroad is one 
hundred and thirty-five miles long ; from Chattanooga to 
Nashville, only a little less. "With this line of two hun- 
dred and fifty miles, stretched clear across the great Alle- 
ghany chain from flank to flank, in a disputed country, 
filled with guerrillas and hostile inhabitants, with myriads 
of nooks and eyries in the mountainous region, apt for 
the assemblage and protection of marauding bands, with 
that attenuated line infested by many squadrons of the 
best cavalry in the Confederacy, long accustomed to be 
victorious everywhere — cavalry who had devastated almost 
with impunity the broad States of Kentucky and Tennes- 
see again and again, under such bold and skilful leaders 
as John Morgan, Forrest, Wheeler, Stephen Lee, Rhoddy, 
and Chalmers — in spite of all, for four eventful months, 
through victory and repulse, in action and repose alike, 
Sherman has been able to keep his lines strong and clear. 



216 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" While all the Southern newspapers and many South- 
ern generals, and while even English journals of great 
ability were proving by all the laws of logic and strategy 
that Sherman must now retreat, Sherman did not retreat. 
At the very moment, indeed, when the exultation of the 
Confederates was the highest at the absolute certainty of 
his downfall, Sherman pushed on and took Atlanta, end- 
ing logic and campaign both at once." 

It was one of the grandest, most decisive and exciting- 
scenes of the civil war, when the great leader of the Union 
battalions in Georgia enjoyed the pause in marches and 
battles afforded by the occupation of Atlanta. The sound 
of booming cannon, the crack of musketry, all the Babel 
discord of war, was comparatively hushed. In the dis- 
tance the foe was reluctantly, slowly retreating ; and 
along the track of both armies the new-made graves and 
the wounded were lying, the waymarks of a gigantic 
struggle for 

" The land of the brave, and the home of the free." 



CHAPTER XX. 

The Tidings of Victory at Washington— The President's Messages to the People 
and to the Army — General Sherman congratulates his Battalions — The 
Eebel General is indignant — The Correspondence between him and General 
Sherman — The authorities of Atlanta also unreconciled to the new order of 
things— The noble Letters and Conduct of the Conquerer. 

44 £u\ TLAIn TA has fallen!" flew on lightning- 
wing over the country, making the wildest 
rejoicing of the loyal millions, and darkening 
with despondency and wrath the faces of 
traitors in their own camps and those among 
the patriots of the north. " Atlanta is ours, and fairly 
won ! " was the sublimely simple message of General 
Sherman. The importance and grandeur of the achieve- 
ment called forth an enthusiastic expression of rejoicing 
in the Executive mansion, and of gratitude to God. 

We can almost imagine our calm and excellent Presi- 
dent gathering about him his Cabinet, and proposing three 
cheers for Sherman ; then retiring to his private apartment, 
raising his tearful eye upward to the " King of kings," in 




218 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

thankful recognition of the source of strength and con- 
quest, before he took the pen to send over the land the 
brief and stirring messages given below : 

" To Major- General Dix, Neio York : 

" The President has issued the following recommend- 
ations and orders in relation to the recent successes by 
the United States forces at Mobile and Atlanta. 

" Edwin M. Stanton, Secretary of War. 

" Executive Mansion, Washington City, September 3, 1864. 

" The signal success that Divine Providence has re- 
cently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States 
army and navy in the harbor of Mobile, and the reduction 
of Forts Powell, Gaines, and Morgan, and the glorious 
achievements of the army under Major-General Sherman 
in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the 
city of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgments to the 
Supreme Being, in whose hands are the destinies of 
nations. 

" It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all 
places of public worship in the United States, thanks- 
giving be offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our 
national existence against the insurgent rebels who so 
long have been waging a cruel war against the Govern- 
ment of the United States for its overthrow, and also that 
prayer be made for the Divine protection to our brave 
soldiers and their leaders in the field, who have so often 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 219 

and so gallantly perilled their lives in battling with the 
enemy, and for blessings and comfort from the Father of 
Mercies to the sick, and wounded, and prisoners, and to 
the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the 
service of their country, and that he will continue to up- 
hold the Government of the United States against all the 
efforts of public enemies and secret foes. 

"Abraham Lincoln." 

" Executive Mansion, September 3. 

" The national thanks are tendered by the President 
to Major-General William T. Sherman, and the gallant 
officers and soldiers of his command before Atlanta, for 
the distinguished ability, courage, and perseverance dis- 
played in the campaign in Georgia, which, under Divine 
favor, have resulted in the capture of the city of Atlanta. 

" The marches, battles, sieges, and other military 
operations that have signalized this campaign, must ren- 
der it famous in the annals of war, and entitle those who 
have participated therein to the applause and thanks of 
the nation. Abraham Lincoln." 

" Executive Mansion, September 3. 
"Ordered — First. That on Monday, the 5th day of 
September, commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock 
noon, there shall be given a salute of one hundred guns 
at the arsenal and navy yard at Washington, and on 
Tuesday, the 6th of September, or the day after the re- 



220 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

ceipt of this order, at each arsenal and navy yard in the 
United States, for the recent brilliant achievements of the 
fleet and the land forces of the United States in the harbor 
of Mobile , in the reduction of Fort Powell, Fort Gaines, and 
Fort Morgan. The Secretary of "War and Secretary of 
the Navy will issue the necessary directions in their re- 
spective Departments for the execution of this order. 

" Second. That on Wednesday, the 7th day of Sep- 
tember, commencing at the hour of twelve o'clock noon, 
there shall be fired a salute of one hundred guns at the 
arsenal at Washington, and at New York, Boston, Phila- 
delphia, Baltimore, Pittsburg, Newport, Ky., and St. 
Louis, and at New Orleans, Mobile, Pensacola, Hilton 
Head, and Newbern, the day after the receipt of this 
order, for the brilliant achievements of the army under 
the command of Major-General Sherman in the State of 
Georgia, and the capture of Atlanta. The Secretary of 
War will issue directions for the execution of this order. 

" Abraham Lincoln." 

The glad tidings swept over the broad belt of hostile 
soil to the headquarters of the lieutenant-general, who 
sent back a laconic, but noble response : 

" City Point, Va., September 4 — 9 p. m. 
" Major-General Sherman : 

I have just received your despatch announcing the 

capture of Atlanta. In honor of your great victory I 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 221 

have just ordered a salute to be fired with shotted guns 
from every battery bearing upon the enemy. The salute 
will be fired within an hour, amidst great rejoicing. 

" U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General." 

The gallant chieftain of the conquering battalions, fol- 
lowed with his official congratulations to the proud and 
exultant columns which had pierced, like a wedge, the 
"heart of the Confederacy." It is a finished and elo- 
quent order : 

" Headquarters Military Division op Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., Sept 8, 1864. ) 

" The officers and soldiers of the Armies of the Cum- 
berland, Ohio, and Tennessee, have already received the 
thanks of the Nation, through its President and Com- 
mander-in-Chief, and it now remains only for him who 
has been with you from the beginning, and who intends 
to stay all the time, to thank the officers and men for 
their intelligence, fidelity, and courage displayed in the 
campaign of Atlanta. 

" On the 1st of May our armies were lying in garri- 
son, seemingly quiet from Knoxville to Huntsville, and 
our enemy lay behind his rocky-faced barrier at Dalton, 
proud, defiant, and exulting. He had had time since 
Christmas to recover from his discomfiture on the Mis- 
sion Ridge, with his ranks filled, and a new commander- 
in-chief, second to none of the Confederacy in reputation 



222 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN". 

for skill, sagacity, and extreme popularity. All at once 
our armies assumed life and action, and appeared before 
Dalton ; threatening Rocky Face we threw ourselves upon 
Resaca, and the rebel army only escaped by the rapidity 
of its retreat, aided by the numerous roads with which he 
was familiar, and which were strange to us. Again he 
took position in Allatoona, but we gave him no rest, and 
by a circuit toward Dallas and subsequent movement to 
Ackworth, Ave gained the Allatoona Pass. Then follow- 
ed the eventful battles about Kenesaw, and the escape of 
the enemy across Chattahoochie River. 

" The crossing of the Chattahoochie and breaking of 
the Augusta road was most handsomely executed by us, 
and will be studied as an example in the art of war. At 
this stage of our game our enemies became dissatisfied 
with their old and skilful commander, and selected one 
more bold and rash. New tactics were adopted. Hood 
first boldly and rapidly, on the 20th of July, fell on our 
right at Peach Tree Creek, and lost. Again, on the 22d, 
he struck our extreme left, and was severely punished ; 
and finally, again on the 28th he repeated the attempt on 
our right, and that time must have been satisfied ; for 
since that date he has remained on the defensive. We 
slowly and gradually drew our lines about Atlanta, feel- 
ing for the railroads which supplied the rebel army and 
made Atlanta a place of importance. We must concede 
to our enemy that he met these efforts patiently and skil- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 223 

fully, but at last he made the mistake we had waited for 
so long, and sent his cavalry to our rear, far beyond the 
reach of recall. Instantly our cavalry was on his only 
remaining road, and we followed quickly with our prin- 
cipal army, and Atlanta fell into our possession as the 
fruit of well-concerted measures, backed by a brave and 
confident army. This completed the grand task which 
had been assigned us by our Government, and your gen- 
eral again repeats his personal and official thanks to all 
the officers and men composing this army, for the in- 
domitable courage and perseverance which alone could 
give success. 

" We have beaten our enemy on every ground he has 
chosen, and have wrested from him his own Gate City, 
where were located his foundries, arsenals, and work- 
shops, deemed secure on account of their distance from 
our base, and the seemingly impregnable obstacles inter- 
vening. Nothing is impossible to an army like this, de- 
termined to vindicate a Government which has rights 
wherever our flag has once floated, and is resolved tP 
maintain them at any and all costs. 

"In our campaign many, yea, very many of our 
noble and gallant comrades have preceded us to our com- 
mon destination, the grave ; but they have left the memory 
of deeds on which a nation can build a proud history. 
McPherson, Harker, McCook, and others dear to us all, 
are now the binding links in our minds that should attach 



224: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

more closely together the living, who have to complete 
the task which still lies before us in the dim future. I 
ask all to continue as they have so well begun, the culti- 
vation of the soldierly virtues that have ennobled our own 
and other countries. Courage, patience, obedience to the 
laws and constituted authorities of our Government ; fidel- 
ity to our trusts and good feeling among each other ; each 
trying to excel the other in the practice of those high 
qualities, and it will then require no prophet to foretell 
that our country will in time emerge from this war puri- 
fied by the fires of war and worthy its great founder — 
Washington. W. T. Sherman, 

" Major-General Commanding." 

" All the corps, regiments, and batteries composing 
the army may, without further orders, inscribe Atlanta 
on their colors. By order of 

" Major-General Sherman. 
" L. M. Dayton, Aide-de-Camp." 

I am sure you will read with lively interest the re- 
markable correspondence between General Hood, with 
that of the city authorities, and General Sherman. The 
favorite motto among literary men, " The pen is mightier 
than the sword," is not quite true perhaps of our hero ; 
for he excels in the use of both, as the Georgia campaign 
and letters will show. The annals of war have no finer 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 225 

productions of cultivated genius from the plains of death 
and victory. The following orders opened the spirited 
battle of the chiefs with the weapons of intellect : 

" Headquarters, Military Dry. op the Miss., ) 
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 4. ) 

" 1. The city of Atlanta being exclusively required 
for warlike purposes, will at once be vacated by all ex- 
cept the armies of the United States, and such civilian 
employes as may be retained by the proper departments 
of Government. 

" 2. The chief quartermaster, Colonel Easton, will at 
once take possession of buildings of all kinds, and of all 
staple articles, such as cotton, tobacco, &c, and will 
make such dispositions of them as are required by exist- 
ing regulations, or such orders as he may receive from 
time to time from the proper authorities. 

" 3. The chief engineer will promptly reconnoitre the 
city and suburbs, and indicate the sites needed for the 
permanent defence of the place, together with any houses 
or other buildings that stand in his way, that they may 
be set apart for destruction. Colonel Easton will then, 
on consultation with the proper officers of the ordnance, 
quartermaster, medical, and railroad departments, set 
aside such buildings and lots of ground as will be needed 
for them, and have them suitably marked and set apart ; 
he will then, in consultation with Generals Thomas and 
15 



226 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Slocum, set apart such as may be necessary to the proper 
administration of the military duties of the department 
of the Cumberland and of the post of Atlanta, and all 
buildings and materials not thus embraced will be held 
subject to the use of the Government, as may hereafter 
arise, according to the just rules of the quartermaster's 
department. 

u 4. No general, staff, or other officer, or any soldier, 
will, on any pretence, occupy any house or shanty, unless 
it be embraced in the limits assigned as the camp of the 
troops to which such general or staff belongs. But the 
chief quartermaster may allow the troops to use boards, 
shingles, or other materials of building, barns, sheds, 
warehouses and shanties, not needed by the proper de- 
partments of Government, to be used in the reconstruction 
of quarters aud barracks as the troops and officers serv- 
ing with them require. And he will also provide, as 
early as practicable, the proper allowance of tents for the 
use of the officers and men in their encampments. 

" 5. In proper time, just arrangements will be made 
for the supply to the troops of all articles they may need 
over and above the clothing, provisions, &c, furnished 
by the Government ; and on no pretence whatever will 
traders, manufacturers, or suttlers, be allowed to sell in 
the limits of fortified places ; and if they manage to come 
in spite of this notice, the quartermaster will seize their 
stores and appropriate them to the use of the troops, and 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 227 

deliver the parties or other unauthorized citizens, who 
thus place their individual interest above that of the 
United States, into the hands of some provost marshal, to 
be put to labor on the forts, or conscripted into one of the 
regiments or batteries already in service. 

"6. The same general principles will apply to all 
military posts south of Chattanooga. 

" By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman. 
"L. M. Dayton, Aide-de-Camp." 

The message addressed to the enemy contained the 
following words, which were like oil to the fire on the 
defeated General's smothered wrath : "All citizens are 
required to leave Atlanta and proceed either South or 
North. The Government will furnish transportation 
South as far as Rough and Ready, and North as far as 
Chattanooga. AH citizens may take their movable prop- 
erty with them. Transportation will be furnished for 
all movables. Negroes who wish to do so may go 
with their masters. Other male negroes will be put in 
Government employ. Negro women and children will 
be sent out of the lines." 

The rebel General sent his indignant protest against 
the determination of General Sherman to send the dis- 
loyal people of Atlanta where their friends could sup- 
port them. How well he talks of God and humanity ! 



228 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" Headquarters Army of the Tennessee ) 
Office Chief of Staff, Sept. 9, 1864. \ 

" Major-Gen. Sherman, Commanding United States Forces in Georgia : 
" General : Your letter borne by James W. Ball 
and James E. Crew, citizens of Atlanta, is received. 
You say therein, ' I deem it to be to the interest of the 
United States, that the citizens now residing in Atlanta 
should remove,' &c. I do not consider that I have any 
alternative in the matter. I, therefore, accept your prop- 
osition to declare a truce of ten days, or such time as 
may be necessary to accomplish the purpose mentioned, 
and shall render all the assistance in my power to expe- 
dite the transportation of citizens in this direction. I 
suggest that a staff officer be appointed by you to super- 
intend the removal from the city to Hough and Ready, 
while I appoint a like officer to control their removal 
further South ; that a guard of one hundred men be sent 
by either party, as you propose to maintain order at that 
place ; and that the removal begin on Monday next. 

" And now, sir, permit me to say that the unprece- 
dented measure you propose transcends in studied and in- 
genious cruelty all acts ever before brought to my atten- 
tion in the dark history of war. 

" In the name of God and humanity I protest, believ- 
ing that you will find that you are expelling from their 
homes and firesides the wives and children of a brave 
people. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 229 

" I am, General, very respectfully, your obedient 
servant, J. B. Hood, General. 

"Official — A. McHummett, Lieutenant, &c." 

Accompanying the above letter was one addressed to 
Colonel Calhoun, Mayor : 

" Headquarters Army of the Tennessee, Sept. 9, 1864. 
" Hon. James M. Calhoun, Mayor : 

" Sir : I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt 
of your letter touching the removal of the citizens of 
Atlanta, as ordered by General Sherman. Please find 
enclosed my reply to General Sherman's letter. I shall 
do all in my power to mitigate the terrible hardship and 
misery that must be brought upon your people by this 
extraordinary order of the Federal commander. Trans- 
portation will be sent to Rough and Ready to carry the 
people and their effects further South. 

" You have my deepest sympathy in this unlooked- 
for and unprecedented affliction. I am, sir, very respect- 
fully, your obedient servant, J. B. Hood, General." 

Like his polished sword, flashes with thought and 
patriotism the pen of the victor in his reply : 



Headquarters Military Div. of the Miss., 
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 10, 1864. 



" General J. B. Hood, ComnCg Army of the Tenn. Confederate Army : 

" General : I have the honor to acknowledge the 

receipt of your letter at the hands of Messrs, Ball and 



230 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Crew, consenting to the arrangements I had proposed 
to facilitate the removal South of the people of Atlanta, 
who prefer to go in that direction. 

" I enclose you a copy of my orders, which will, I am 
satisfied, accomplish my purpose perfectly. You style 
the measures proposed i unprecedented/ and appeal to 
the dark history of war for a parallel, as an act of 
' studied and ungenerous cruelty.' It is not unprece- 
dented, for General Johnston himself very wisely and 
properly removed the families all the way from Dalton 
down, and I see no reason why Atlanta should be ex- 
cepted. Nor is it necessary to appeal to the ' dark his- 
tory of war/ when recent and modern examples are so 
handy. You yourself burned dwelling-houses along your 
parapet, ^and I saw to-day fifty houses that you have ren- 
dered uninhabitable because they stood in the way of 
your forts and men. You defended Atlanta on a line so 
close to the town that every cannon-shot and many mus- 
ket-shots from our line of investment, that overshot their 
mark, went into the habitations of women and children. 
General Hardee did the same at Jonesboro', and General 
Johnston did the same last summer at Jackson, Miss. ; 
I have not accused them of heartless cruelty, but merely 
instance these cases of very recent occurrence, and could 
go on and enumerate hundreds of others, and challenge 
any fair man to judge which of us has the heart of pity 
for the families of ' a brave people.' I say it is kindness 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 231 

to the families of Atlanta to remove them now at once 
from scenes that women and children should not be ex- 
posed to, and the ' brave people ' should scorn to commit 
their wives and children to the rude barbarians who thus, 
as you say, violate the laws of war, as illustrated in the 
pages of its ' dark history.' 

" In the name of common sense, I ask you not to ap- 
peal to a just God in such a sacrilegious maimer. 

" You who in the midst of peace and prosperity have 
plunged a nation into war, ' dark and cruel war ; ' who 
dared and badgered us to battle, insulted our flag ; seized 
our arsenals and forts that were left in the honorable 
custody of a peaceful ordnance sergeant ; seized and made 
prisoners of war the very garrisons sent to protect your 
people against negroes and Indians, long before any overt 
act was committed by the (to you) hateful Lincoln Gov- 
ernment ; tried to force Kentucky and Missouri into re- 
bellion in despite of themselves ; falsified the vote of 
Louisiana ; turned loose your privateers to plunder un- 
armed ships ; expelled Union families by the thousands ; 
burned their homes, and declared, by an act of your Con- 
gress, the confiscation of all debts due to Northern men 
for goods had and received ! Talk this to the marines, 
but not to me, who have seen these things, and who will 
this day make as great sacrifice for the peace and honor 
of the South as the best Southerner among you. 

" If we must be enemies, let us be men, and fight it 



232 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

out as we propose to-day, and not deal in such hypocritical 
appeals to God and humanity, God will judge us in due 
time, and lie will pronounce whether it be more humane 
to fight with a town full of women and the families of a 
' brave people ' at our back, or to remove them in time 
to places of safety among their own friends and people. 
" I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" W. T. Sherman, Maj.-G-en. Commanding. 
" [Official copy:] L. M. Dayton, Aide-de-Camp." 

The conquering chief humanely gives the rebels time 
to depart, declaring a truce of ten days : 

" Headquarters Military Division Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, Atlanta, Ga., Sept 10, 1864. j" 

" 1. Pursuant to an agreement between General J. 
B. Hood, commanding the Confederate forces in Georgia, 
and Major-General "W. T. Sherman, commanding this 
army, a truce is hereby declared to exist from daylight 
of Monday, September 12, until daylight of Thursday, 
September 22— -ten (10) full days— at a point on the 
Macon Railroad known as Rough and Ready, and the 
country round about or a circle of two (2) miles radius, 
together with the roads leading to and from, in the direc- 
tion of Atlanta and Lovejoy station, respectively, for the 
purpose of affording the people of Atlanta a safe means 
of removal to points South. 

^2. The Chief Quartermaster at Atlanta, Colonel 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 233 

Easton, will afford all the citizens of Atlanta who elect 
to go South all the facilities he can spare to remove them 
comfortably and safely, with their effects, to Rough and 
Ready station, using cars and ambulances for that pur- 
pose ; and commanders of regiments and brigades may 
use their regimental and staff teams to carry out the ob- 
ject of this order ; the whole to cease after Wednesday, 
21st instant. 

" 3. Major-General Thomas will cause a guard to be 
established on the road out beyond the camp-ground, with 
orders to allow all wagons and vehicles to pass that are 
used manifestly for this purpose ; and Major-General 
Howard will send a guard of one hundred men, with a 
field officer in command, to take post at Rough and 
Ready during the truce, with orders in concert with a 
guard from the Confederate army of like size, to main- 
tain the most perfect order in that vicinity during the 
transfer of these families. A white flag will be displayed 
during the truce, and a guard will cause all wagons to 
leave at 4 p. m. of Wednesday, the 21st instant, and the 
guard to withdraw at dark, the truce to terminate the 
next morning. 

" By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman. 
" L. M. Dayton, Aide-de- Camp." 

The letter of the authorities of Atlanta, referred to by 
Hood, and his reply, are as follows : 



234 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

"Atlanta, Ga., September 11. 
" Major- General W. T. Sherman: 

" Sir : The undersigned mayor, and two members of 
council for the city of Atlanta, for the time being the 
only legal organ of the people of the said city, to express 
their wants and wishes, ask leave most earnestly, but re- 
spectfully, to petition you to reconsider the order requir- 
ing them to leave Atlanta. At first view it struck us 
that the measure would involve extraordinary hardship 
and loss, but since we have seen the practical execution 
of it, so far as it has progressed, and the individual con- 
dition of many of the people, and heard their statements 
as to the inconveniences, loss, and suffering attending 
it, we are satisfied that' the amount of it will involve in 
the aggregate consequences appalling and heartrending. 
Many poor women are in an advanced state of pregnancy ; 
others now having young children, and whose husbands 
are either in the army, prisoners, or dead. Some say : 
' I have such a one sick at home ; who will wait on them 
when I am gone ? ' Others say : ' What are we to do ? 
We have no houses to go to, and no means to buy, build, 
or to rent any — no parents, friends, or relatives to go to.' 
Another says : ' I will try and take this or that article of 
property, but such and such things I must leave behind, 
though I need them much/ We reply to them : ' General 
Sherman will carry your property to Rough and Ready, 
and General Hood will take it there on/ And they will 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMATT. 235 

reply to this : i But I want to leave the railroad at such a 
point, and cannot get conveyance from there on.' "We 
only refer to a few facts to try to illustrate in part how 
the measure will operate in practice. As you advanced, 
the people north of us fell back, and before your arrival 
here a large portion of the people had retired south, so 
that the country south of this is already crowded, and 
without houses to accommodate the people, and we are 
informed that many are now staying in churches and 
other out-buildings. This being so, how is it possible for 
the people still here (mostly women and children) to find 
any shelter ? and how can they live through the winter in 
the woods — no shelter or subsistence — in the midst of 
strangers who know them not, and without the power to 
assist them, if they were willing to do so ? This is but a 
feeble picture of the consequences of this measure. You 
know the woe, the horror, and the suffering cannot be 
described by words. Imagination can only conceive of it, 
and we ask you to take these things into consideration. 
We know your mind and time are constantly occupied 
with the duties of your command, which almost deter U3 
from asking your attention to this matter ; but thought it 
might be that you had not considered the subject in all its 
awful consequences, and that on more reflection, you, we 
hope, would not make this people an exception to all man- 
kind, for we know of no such instance ever having occur- 
red — surely none such in the United States ; and what has 



236 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

this helpless people done, that they should be driven from 
their homes, to wander as strangers, outcasts, and exiles, 
and to subsist on charity? We do not know, as yet, the 
number of people still here. Of those who are here we 
are satisfied a respectable number, if allowed to remain 
at home, could subsist for several months without assist- 
ance, and a respectable number for a much longer time, 
and who might not need assistance at any time. In con- 
clusion, we most earnestly and solemnly petition you to 
reconsider this order, or modify it, and suffer this un- 
fortunate people to remain at home and enjoy what little 
means they have. Respectfully submitted, 

" James M. Calhoun, Mayor. 

"E. E. Rawson,) 

" L.C.Wells." [ C ° UnCilmen - 

Here is General Sherman's answer to the letter of 
Mayor Calhoun and the Councilmen of Atlanta : 

" Headquarters Military Division op the Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, Atlanta, September 12, 1864. ) 

" James M. Calhoun, Mayor, E. E. Kawson and S. C. Wells, repre- 
senting City Council of Atlanta : 

" Gentlemen : I have your letter of the 11th, in the 

nature of a petition to revoke my order removing all the 

inhabitants from Atlanta. I have read it carefully, and 

give full credit to your statements of the distress that will 

be occasioned by it, and yet shall not revoke my order, 

simply because my orders are not designed to meet the 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 237 

humanities of the case, but to prepare for the future 
struggle in which millions, yea, hundreds of millions of 
good people outside of Atlanta have a deep interest. We 
must have peace, not only in Atlanta, but in all America. 
To secure this, we must stop the war that now desolates 
our once happy and favored country. To stop the war, we 
must defeat the rebel armies that are arrayed against the 
laws and Constitution which all men must respect and 
obey. To defeat these armies, we must prepare the way 
to reach them in their recesses, provided with the arms 
and instruments which enable us to accomplish our pur- 
pose. 

" Now I know the vindictive nature of our enemy, 
and that we may have many years of military operations 
from this quarter, and therefore deem it wise and prudent 
to prepare in time. The use of Atlanta for warlike pur- 
poses is inconsistent with its character as a home for 
families. There will be no manufactures, commerce, or 
agriculture here for the maintenance of families, and, 
sooner or later, want will compel the inhabitants to 
go. Why not go now, when all the arrangements are 
completed for the transfer, instead of waiting until the 
plunging shot of contending armies will renew the scenes 
of the past month? Of course I do not apprehend any 
such thing at this moment, but you do not suppose this 
army will be here till the war is over ? I cannot discuss 
this subject with you fairly, because I cannot impart to 



238 LIFE OF GENEBAL SHEBMAN. 

you wliat I propose to do ; but I assert that my military 
plans make it necessary for the inhabitants to go away, 
and I can only renew my offer of services to make their 
exodus in any direction as easy and comfortable as possi- 
ble. You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I 
will. 

" Wa/ is cruelty, and you cannot refine it ; and those 
who brought war on our country deserve all the curses 
and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had 
no hand in making this war, and I know that I will make 
more sacrifices than any of you to-day to secure peace. 
But you cannot have peace and a division of our coun- 
try. If the United States submits to a division now, it 
will not stop, but will go on till we reap the fate of Mexico, 
which is eternal war. The United States does and must 
assert its authority wherever it has power ; if it relaxes 
one bit of pressure it is gone, and I know that such is not 
the national feeling. This feeling assumes various shapes 5 
but always comes back to that of Union. Once admit 
the Union, once more acknowledge the authority of the 
National Government, and instead of devoting your 
houses and streets and roads to the dread uses of war, 
I and this army become at once your protectors and sup- 
porters, shielding you from danger, let it come from what 
quarter it may. I know that a few individuals cannot 
resist a torrent of error and passion such as has swept 
the South into rebellion ; but you can point out, so that 



LIFE OF GEXEKAE SHEBMATT. 239 

we may know those who desire a Government, and those 
who insist on war and its desolation. 

" You might as well appeal against the thunder-storm 
as against the. terrible hardships of war. They are in- 
evitable, and the only way the people of Atlanta can hope 
once more to live in peace and quiet at home, is to stop 
this war, which can alone be done by admitting that it 
began in error, and is perpetuated in pride. We don't 
want your negroes, or your horses, or your houses, or 
your land, or anything you have ; but we do want and 
will have a just obedience to the laws of the United 
States. That we will have ; and if it involves the destruc- 
tion of your improvements, we cannot help it. You have 
heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that 
live by falsehood and excitement, and the quicker you 
seek for truth in other quarters the better for you. 

" I repeat, then, that by the original compact of gov- 
ernment, the United States had certain rights in Georgia 
which have never been relinquished, and never will be ; 
that the South began the war by seizing forts, arsenals, 
mints, custom houses, &c, long before Mr. Lincoln was 
installed, and before the South had one jot or tittle of 
provocation. I myself have seen in Missouri, Ken- 
tucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, hundreds and thou- 
sands of women and children fleeing from your armies 
and desperadoes, hungry, and with bleeding feet. In 
Memphis, Vicksburg, and Mississippi, we fed thousands 



24:0 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

upon thousands of the families of rebel soldiers left on 
our hands, and whom we could not see starve. Now that 
war comes home to you, you feel very different — you de- 
precate its horrors, but did not feel them when you sent 
carloads of soldiers and ammunition, and moulded shells 
and shot to carry war into Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
desolate the homes of hundreds and thousands of good 
people, who only asked to live in peace at their old homes, 
and under the Government of their inheritance. But 
these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it 
only can be reached through Union and war, and I will 
ever conduct war purely with a view to perfect and early 
success. 

" But, my dear sirs, when that peace does come, you 
may call on me for anything. Then will I share with 
you the last cracker, and watch with you to shield your 
homes and families against danger from every quarter. 
Now you must go, and take with you the old and feeble ; 
feed and nurse them, and build for them in more quiet 
places proper habitations to shield them against the 
weather, until the mad passions of men cool down, and 
allow the Union and peace once more to settle on your 
old homes at Atlanta. Yours, in haste, 

" W. T. Sherman, Major-General." 

The next effort of his facile pen corrects a falsehood 
which had been copied from a rebel paper : 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 24:1 

" Atlanta, Sept. 24, 1864. 
" To the Louisville Agent of the New York Associated Press: 

" Your press despatches of the 21st embrace one from 
Macon, of the 14th, announcing the arrival of the first 
train of refugees from Atlanta, with this addition, ' that 
they were robbed of everything before being sent into the 
rebel lines/ Of course, that is false ; and it is idle to 
correct it so far as the rebels are concerned, for they 
purposed it as a falsehood, to create a mischievous pub- 
lic opinion. The truth is, that during the truce, 446 
families were moved South, making 705 adults, 860 
children, and 479 servants, with 1,651 pounds of furni- 
ture and household goods on the average for each family, 
of which we have a perfect recollection by name and arti- 
cles. At the end of the truce, Colonel Warner, of my staff, 
who had general supervision of the business, received from 
Major Clan, of General Hood's staff, the following letter : 

" ' Rough and Ready, Sept. 21, 1864. 
" ' Colonel : Our official communications being about 
to close, you will permit me to bear testimony to the 
uniform courtesy you have shown on all occasions to me 
and my people, and the promptness with which you have 
corrected all irregularities arising in our intercourse. 
Hoping at some future time to be able to reciprocate 
your courteousness, and in many instances your positive 
kindness, I am, with respect, your obedient servant, 

" < U. T. Clan, Major and A.-G.-G. Gen. Hood's Staff.' 
16 



242 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" I would not notice this, but I know the people of 
the North, liable to be misled by a falsehood calculated 
for special purposes, and by a desperate enemy, will be 
relieved by this assurance, that not only care, but real 
kindness has been extended to families who lost their 
home by the act of their male protectors. 

" (Signed) W. T. Sherman, 

" Major-G-en. Commanding." 

The congratulations of the heroic, devoutly Christian 
General Howard, who is equally at home in the Sabbath 
school and in the smoke of battle, will add to the interest 
of the records of this eventful time : 

" It is with pride, gratification, and a sense of Divine 
favor, that I congratulate this noble army upon the suc- 
cessful termination of the campaign. 

" Your officers claim for you a wonderful record — for 
example, a march of four hundred miles, thirteen distinct 
engagements, four thousand prisoners, and twenty stands 
of colors captured, and three thousand of the enemy's 
dead buried in your front. 

" Your movements upon the enemy's flank have been 
bold and successful ; first upon Eesaca, second upon Dal- 
las, third upon Kenesaw, fourth upon Nickajack, fifth, 
via Roswell, upon the Augusta Railroad, sixth upon 
' Ezra Church,' to the southwest of Atlanta, and seventh 
upon Jonesboro' and the Macon Railroad. Atlanta was 
evacuated while you were fighting at Jonesboro'. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 24:3 

" The country may never know with what patience, 
labor, and exposure you have tugged away at every natu- 
ral and artificial obstacle that an enterprising and confi- 
dent enemy could interpose. The terrific battles you 
have fought may never be realized or credited ; still a 
glad acclaim is already greeting you from the Govern- 
ment and people, in view of the results you have helped 
to gain ; and I believe a sense of the magnitude of the 
achievements of the last hundred days will not abate, but 
increase with time and history. 

" Our rejoicing is tempered, as it always must be, by 
the soldier's sorrow at the loss of his companions in arms. 
On every hillside, in every valley throughout your long 
and circuitous route, from Dalton to Jonesboro', you have 
buried them. 

" Your trusted and beloved commander fell in your 
midst ; his name, the name of McPheeson, carries with 
it a peculiar feeling of sorrow. I trust the impress of his 
character is upon you all, to incite you to generous ac- 
tions and noble deeds. 

" To mourning friends, and to all the disabled in 
battle, you extend a soldier's sympathy. 

" My first intimate acquaintance with you dates from 
the 28th of July. I never beheld fiercer assaults than 
the enemy then made, and I never saw troops more 
steady and self-possessed in action than your divisions 
which were then engaged. 



244 LEFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" I have learned that for cheerfulness, obedience, 
rapidity of movement and confidence in battle, the army 
of the Tennessee is not to be surpassed, and it shall be 
my study that your fair record shall continue, and my 
purpose to assist you to move steadily forward and plant 
the old flag in every proud city of the rebellion. 

" (Signed) O. O. Howard, Major-Gen. 

" Official: Samuel L. Taggart, A.-A.-G." 

The most decided and pleasing evidence of the manly 
and magnanimous heart of the conqueror, is given by the 
enemy himself. In his despatches, General Sherman 
sends the following note : 

" Atlanta, Sept. 26. 

" The following, which belongs to the testimonials 

from the authorities at Atlanta, has just been received in 

communication ; and in conclusion of the subject, I send 

you a copy of the mayor's letter. 

" W. T. Sherman. 

'*' Atlanta, Sept. 20. 
" 4 On leaving Atlanta, I should return my thanks to 
General Sherman, General Slocum, General Ward, 
Colonel Colburn, Major Beck, Captain Mott, and other 
officers, with whom I have had business transactions in 
carrying out the orders of General Sherman for the re- 
moval of the citizens, and in transacting my private busi- 
ness, for their kindness to, and their patience in answer- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 245 

ing the many inquiries I had to make on the duration of 
the delicate and arduous duties devolving on me as mayor 
of this city. 

" i Respectfully, James M. Calhoun. ' " 

Similar testimony appeared in the columns of rebel 
newspapers. The next quotation is from the Macon 
Telegraph : " Refugees report generally kind personal 
treatment from General Sherman and his officers. 
"Whatever exceptions may have occurred have been in 
violation of orders — instances of individual pilfering, 
which cannot always be prevented in an army, and in 
many cases have been detected and punished. 

" A friend, whose wife was left an invalid in Atlanta, 
and came within our lines a day or two since, says, that 
at her request General Sherman came to see her, and 
finding her unable to attend to the arrangement of her 
movables for transportation, had them all bound up nicely 
and transported to our lines, even to her washtub. 

" The Federal general had three hours' conversation 
with her, and justified at length his order for the removal, 
insisting that in his exposed position, liable to be cut off 
and besieged, it was the part of humanity to require that 
non-combatants should not be exposed to the privations 
and perils to which his army must probably be subjected ; 
and worse, because he could not provide food for a large 
population. Goods left behind were stored and duplicate 



24:6 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

receipts given, with the promise that they should be safely 
returned. 

" Refugees report that Sherman's army is going North 
by thousands, and his force is now very small. "Whether 
this movement is confined to men going out of service, or 
embraces reinforcements to Grant, they were unable to 
say." 

I must give you a pleasant picture of the chief while 
marshalling his troops at Atlanta ; " While I was watch- 
ing to-day the endless line of troops shifting by, an officer 
with a modest escort rode up to the fence near which I 
was standing, and dismounted. He was rather tall and 
slender, and his quick movements denoted good muscle 
added to absolute leanness— not thinness. His uniform 
was neither new nor old, but bordering on a hazy mellow- 
ness of gloss, while the elbows and knees were a little 
accented from the continuous agitation of those joints. 

" The face was one I should never rest upon in a 
crowd, simply because, to my eye, there was nothing re- 
markable in it save the nose, which organ was high, thin, 
and planted with a curve as vehement as the curl of a 
Malay cutlass. The face and neck were rough and 
covered with reddish hair, the eye light in color and ani- 
mated ; but, though restless and bounding like a ball from 
one object to another, neither piercing nor brilliant ; the 
mouth well closed but common, the ears large, the hands 
and feet long and thin, the gait a little rolling, but firm 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 247 

and active. In dress and manner there was not the 
slightest trace of pretension. He spoke rapidly, and gen- 
erally with an inquisitive smile. To this ensemble I must 
add a hat which was the reverse of dignified or dis- 
tinguished — a simple felt affair, with a round crown and 
drooping brim — and you have as fair a description of 
General Sherman's externals as I can pen. 

" Seating himself on a stick of cordwood hard by the 
fence, he drew a bit of pencil from his pocket, and spread- 
ing a piece of note paper on his knee, he wrote with great 
rapidity. Long columns of troops lined the road a few 
yards in his front, and beyond the road, massed in a 
series of spreading green fields, a whole division of in- 
fantry was waiting to take up the line of march, the blue 
ranks clear cut against the verdant background. Those 
who were near their general looked at him curiously ; for 
in so vast an army the soldier sees his commander-in- 
chief but seldom. Page after page was filled by the gen- 
eral's nimble pencil, and despatched. 

" For a half hour I watched him, and, though I looked 
for and expected to find them, no symptoms could I de- 
tect that the mind of the great leader was taxed by the 
infinite cares of a terribly hazardous military coup de 
main. Apparently it did not lay upon his mind the 
weight of a feather. A mail arrived. He tore open the 
papers and glanced over them hastily, then chatted with 
some general ofiicers near him, then rode off with char- 



24:8 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

acteristic suddenness, but with fresh and smiling coun- 
tenance, filing down the road beside many thousand men, 
whose lives were in his keeping." 

The truly great mind is magnanimous in the hour of 
victory ; a selfish, narrow one is arrogant and oppressive. 
"We ought to be devoutly grateful to God for leaders in 
this second life-struggle of freedom, who in general char- 
acter emulate our unrivalled "Washington, and do not tar- 
nish the cause he loved by revengeful or unworthy deeds. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

The Events which followed the Trace— General Hood's Army in Motion— Battle 
at Allatoona Pass — He is left to the care of the gallant Thomas — The New 
and Magnificent Campaign of General Sherman — The Field of his Opera- 
tions^ — Burning of Kome — The Advance — Atlanta partially Burned— The 
Rebel Fears and Hopes — The March. 

JTRING the truce which closed September 22d, 
General Hood had moved his army toward Ma- 
con, to protect that important town. But the 
startling rumor reached his ear that his bold 
antagonist would turn his front toward Mobile, 
away on the shores of the Gulf. This drew the rebel 
chief from his position, and brought him by a westward 
movement across the track toward the seaboard. 

On Sunday, September 25th, at Macon, Jeff Davis 
addressed the soldiers, assuring them their feet would 
soon press the soil of Tennessee, spreading before them 
golden visions of conquest and abundance of supplies. 
To compel General Sherman to abandon his southern 
march, and follow him into Tennessee, the desperate 




250 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

leader of treason's battalions wheeled about and re- 
crossed the Chattahoochie River. Thus was abandoned 
the great State of Georgia, and the " hotbed of seces- 
sion," South Carolina, to the Union army. Generals 
Hood and Forrest began to cut railroad lines and burn 
bridges. 

At Allatoona Pass the enemy made a furious assault 
on our garrison to regain this Thermopylae of the cam- 
paign, but dashed in vain upon the valor of our unyield- 
ing ranks. The commander-in-chief of our forces, who 
had signalled General Corse from the top of Kenesaw 
Mountain to meet the enemy there, sent the "boys" his 
warm congratulations : 

" Headquarters Military Division op the Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, Kenesaw Mountain, Oct. ^1, 1864. ) 

" The General commanding avails himself of the 
opportunity, in the handsome defence made of ' Alatoona,' 
to illustrate the most important principle in war, that forti- 
fied posts should be defended to the last, regardless of 
the relative numbers of the party attacking and attacked. 

" Allatoona was garrisoned by three regiments, com- 
manded by Colonel Tourtelotte, and reenforced by a de- 
tachment from a division at Rome, under command of 
Brigadier-General J. M. Corse, on the morning of the 
5th, and a few hours after was attacked by French's 
division of Stewart's corps, two other divisions being 
near at hand, and in support. General French demanded 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 251 

a surrender, in a letter, to ' avoid a useless effusion of 
blood/ and gave but five minutes for answer. Gen- 
eral Corse's answer was emphatic and strong, that he 
and his command were ready for the ' useless effusion of 
blood ' as soon as it was agreeable to General French. 

" This was followed by an attack which was pro- 
longed for five hours, resulting in the complete repulse of 
the enemy, who left his dead on the ground, amounting 
to more than two hundred, and four hundred prisoners, 
well and wounded. The ; effusion of blood ' was not 
'useless/ as the position at Allatoona was and is very 
important to our present and future operations. 

" The thanks of this army are due, and are hereby 
accorded, to General Corse, Colonel Tourtelotte, officers 
and men, for their determined and gallant defence of 
Allatoona, and it is made an example to illustrate the 
importance of preparing in time, and meeting the danger, 
when present, boldly, manfully, and well. 

" The army, though unseen to the garrison, was co- 
operating 'by moving toward the road by which the ene- 
my could alone escape, but unfortunately were delayed 
by the rain and mud ; but this fact hastened the retreat 
of the enemy. 

" Commanders and garrisons of the posts along our 
railroads are hereby instructed that they must hold their 
posts to the last minute, sure that the time gained is 
valuable and necessary to their comrades at the front." 



252 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

While General Hood was thus retracing his steps, 
capturing Dalton and threatening Chattanooga, General 
Sherman was on his track, pursuing him to the Ten- 
nessee. The lion-hearted Thomas was at Nashville, and, 
quite sure that he could " take care of Hood," as the order 
ran, the great commander turned his face again south- 
ward. 

He had telegraphed to the Secretary of War that his 
army needed rest at Atlanta. It was true, but General 
Sherman did not intend to have it then. The rebels and 
the country were bewildered by his mysterious move- 
ments. Early in November he was between the Ten- 
nessee and Chattahoochie, his headquarters at Kingston, 
with Rome on the line to Atlanta. The deeply-laid game 
was played by the master hand in the dark to others. 
Preparations were at 1 once made for a grander campaign 
than that which had just closed. 

On the. 10th, when the evening darkened around the 
beautiful Rome of Georgia, the heavens glowed with its 
conflagration. A fearful storm had ceased, the advance 
was at hand, and it was necessary, in the stern demands 
of war, to make a torch and desolation of that place, 
in the wake of the march. The fire was kindled by 
General Corse, according to the orders of the comman- 
der. A spectator wrote of the scenes of that terrific con- 
flagration : 

" All the barracks were laid in ashes, and a black veil 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 253 

of dense smoke hung over the war-desolated city nearly 
all day, arising from the smouldering ruins. 

" Owing to the great lack of railroad transportation, 
General Corse was obliged to destroy nearly a million of 
dollars' worth of property, among which was a few thou- 
sand dollars' worth of condemned and unserviceable gov- 
ernment stores. Nine rebel guns, captured at Rome by 
our troops, were burst, it being deemed unsafe to use them. 
One thousand bales of fine cotton, two flour mills, two rolling 
mills, two tanneries, one salt mill, an extensive foundry, 
several machine shops, together with the railroad depots 
and storehouses, four pontoon bridges, built by General 
Corse's pioneer corps for use on the Coosa and Etowah 
rivers, and a substantial trestle bridge, nearly completed 
for use, were destroyed. This trestle, constructed by the 
Engineer corps, I am told, would have cost fifty thousand 
dollars North. Recollecting the outrages perpetrated 
upon Colonel Streight by the ' Romans,' our troops, as 
soon as they learned that the town was to be abandoned 
and a portion of it burned, resolved to lay Rome in ashes 
in revenge. The roaring of the flames, as they leaped 
from window to window, their savage tongues of fire 
darting high up into the heavens, and then licking the 
sides of the buildings, presented an awful but grand 
spectacle, while the mounted patrol and the infantrymen 
glided along through the brilliant light like the ghostly 
spectres of horrid war." 



254 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Concentrating at Atlanta, the last use made of the 
stronghold and cherished hope of the Confederacy was 
the finishing work of getting a vast army in motion — a 
grand start into hostile country, away from the base of 
supplies. 

After the men had bivouacked for the night, the fol- 
lowing orders, issued by General Sherman, were read to 
the troops, and were greeted with many manifestations 
of approbation by the veterans, who, in so many bloody 
battles, have followed the lead of Sherman : 

" Headquarters, Military Division oe the Mississippi, ) 
In the Field, Kingston, Ga., Nov. 8, 1864. \ 

" The General commanding deems it proper at this 
time to inform the officers and men of the Fourteenth, 
Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, that he has 
organized them into an army for a special purpose well 
known to the War Department and to General Grant. It 
is sufficient for you to know that it involves a departure, 
from our present base, and a long and difficult march to 
a new one. All the chances of war have been considered 
and provided for as far as human sagacity can. All he 
asks of you is to maintain that discipline, patience and 
courage which have characterized you in the past, and 
he hopes, through you, to strike a blow at our enemy that 
will have a material effect in producing what we all so 
much desire, his complete overthrow. Of all things the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 255 

most important is, that the men, during marches and in 
camp, keep their places, and not scatter about as stragglers 
or foragers, to be picked up by hostile people in detail. 

" It is also of the utmost importance that our wagons 
should not be loaded with anything but provisions and 
ammunition. All surplus servants, non-combatants, and 
refugees should now go to the rear, and none should be 
encouraged to encumber us on the march. At some 
future time we will be enabled to provide for the poor 
whites and blacks who seek to escape the bondage under 
which they are now suffering. 

" With these few simple cautions in your minds, he 
hopes to lead you to achievements equal in importance to 
those of the past. By order of 

" Major-General W. T. Sherman." 

The grand army, of more than fifty thousand men, was 
divided into two wings, although in some of its move- 
ments arranged in three or more separate columns. 
General Slocum commanded the left wing, composed of 
the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps, and General How- 
ard the right wing, made up of the Fifteenth and Seven- 
teenth Corps. The dashing, brilliant Kilpatrick was 
chief of a cavalry force. The marching orders were is- 
sued, and flew along the extended battle front, meeting 
with a glad welcome from the troops. The clear directions 
of the chieftain will present the line and method of march 



256 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 

"In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 9, 1864. 

" I. For the purpose of military operations, this army 
is divided into two wings, viz. : The right wing, Major- 
General O.O. Howard, commanding the Fifteenth and 
Seventeenth Corps ; the left wing, Major-General H. W. 
Slocum, commanding the Fourteenth and Twentieth Corps. 

" II. The habitual order of march will be, whenever 
practicable, by four roads, as nearly parallel as possible, 
and converging at points hereafter to be indicated in 
orders. The cavalry, Brigadier-General Kilpatrick com- 
manding, will receive special orders from the Commander- 
in-Chief. 

" III. There will be no general trains of supplies, but 
each corps will have its ammunition and provision train, 
distributed habitually as follows : Behind each regiment 
should follow one wagon and one ambulance ; behind each 
brigade should follow a due proportion of ammunition 
wagons, provision wagons, and ambulances. In case of 
danger, each army corps should change this order of 
march by having his advance and rear brigade unen- 
cumbered by wheels. The separate columns will start 
habitually at seven A. M., and make about fifteen miles 
per day, unless otherwise fixed in orders. 

" IV. The army will forage liberally on the country 
during the march. To this end each brigade commander 
will organize a good and sufficient foraging party, under 
the command of one or more discreet officers, who will 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 257 

gather, near the route travelled, corn or forage of any 
kind, meat of any kind, vegetables, corn-meal, or what- 
ever is needed by the command ; aiming at all times to 
keep in the wagon trains at least ten days' provisions for 
the command and three days' forage. Soldiers must not 
enter the dwellings of the inhabitants or commit any tres- 
pass ; during the halt or a camp they may be permitted to 
gather turnips, potatoes, and other vegetables, and drive 
in stock in front of their camps. To regular foraging 
parties must be intrusted the gathering of provisions and 
forage at any distance from the road travelled. 

"V. To army corps commanders is intrusted the power 
to destroy mills, houses, cotton gins, etc., and for them this 
general principle is laid down : In districts and neighbor- 
hoods where the army is unmolested, no destruction of such 
property should be permitted ; but should guerillas or 
bushwhackers molest our march, or should the inhabitants 
burn bridges, obstruct roads, or otherwise manifest local 
hostility, then army corps commanders should order and 
enforce a devastation more or less relentless, according to 
the measure of such hostility. 

"VI. As for horses, mules, wagons, etc., belonging 
to the inhabitants, the cavalry and artillery may appro- 
priate freely and without limit ; discriminating, however, 
between the rich, who are usually hostile, and the poor 
or industrious, usually neutral or friendly. Foraging 

parties may also take mules or horses to replace the jaded 
17 



258 LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

animals of their trains, or to serve as pack mules for the 
regiments or brigades. In all foraging, of whatever kind, 
the parties engaged will refrain from abusive or threaten- 
ing language, and may, when the officer in command 
thinks proper, give written certificates of the facts, but 
no receipts ; and they will endeavor to leave with each 
family a reasonable portion for their maintenance. 

" VII. Negroes who are ahle-bodied and can be of ser- 
vice to the several columns, may he tahen along ; but each 
army commander will bear in mind that the question of 
supplies is a very important one, and that his first duty i3 
to see to those who bear arms. 

" VIII. The organization at once of a good pioneer 
battalion for each corps, composed, if possible, of negroes, 
should be attended to. This battalion should follow the 
advance guard, should repair roads and double them if 
possible, so that the columns will not be delayed after 
reaching bad places. Also, army commanders should 
study the habit of giving the artillery and wagons the 
road, and marching their troops on one side ; and also 
instruct their troops to assist wagons at steep hills or bad 
crossings or streams. 

"IX. Captain O. M. Poe, chief engineer, will assign 
to each wing of the army a pontoon train, fully equipped 
and organized, and the commanders thereof will see to 
its being properly protected at all times. 

" By order of Major-General W. T. Sherman." 



LIFE OF GENEKAL SHEEMA^. 259 

The feeling of the troops is expressed in the words 
of another who was with them : " They do not stop to 
ask questions. Sherman says ' Come,' and that is the 
entire vocabulary with them. A most cheerful feature 
of the situation is the fact that the men are healthful and 
jolly as men can be, hoping for the best, daring to do the 
worst. 

" Behind us we leave a track of smoke and flame. 
Half of Marietta was burned up, not by orders, how- 
ever, for the command is that proper details shall be 
made to destroy all property which can ever be of 
use to the rebel armies. Stragglers will get into these 
places, and dwelling-houses are levelled to the ground. 
In nearly all cases these are the deserted habitations 
formerly owned by rebels, who are now refugees. 

" Yesterday, as some of the men were marching tow- 
ard the Chattahoochie River, they saw in the distance 
pillars of smoke rising along its banks ; the bridges were 
in flames. Says one, hitching his musket a bit on the 
shoulder in a free and easy way, ' I say, Charley, I be- 
lieve Sherman has set the river on fire/ i Reckon not/ 
replied the other, with the same indifference. 'If he 
has, it's all right.' And so they pass along, obeying 
orders, not knowing what is before them, but believing in 
their leader." 

The foraging parties were to bring in from the coun- 
try along the war path, supplies for the long cavalcade, 



260 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

sweeping over a belt of land twenty to seventy miles 
wide, right across the proud State of Georgia. 

The regulations respecting retaliation for outrages 
were wise and humane, because they prevented the very 
ruin which the rebels, unrestrained by fear, would have 
drawn upon themselves. It was not an idle threat, but 
proved to be a most timely, useful one. 

November 12th, you might have seen the magnificent 
spectacle a great war alone affords. Mounted on his 
steed, his cork hand on the rein, General Howard led the 
right wing in bristling ranks, to the sound of martial airs, 
from Atlanta. And here I must tell you about that cork 
hand. You may recollect that the heroic chief lost his arm 
at Fair Oaks, fighting under General McClellan. He re- 
turned soon after to his home in Lewiston, Maine. It 
happened that I was there upon a beautiful summer day, 
when the Sabbath-school children had a meeting in Rev. 
Mr. Adams's church, at Auburn, across the river. Gen- 
eral Howard was present, the first time he had attended 
a public gathering since the wound was received. And 
many hearts were touched to hear him talk earnestly of 
truth and duty, while the yet unhealed stump would try 
to gesticulate, as the arm did of old. He is a complete 
man, and appreciated by his general-in-chief. 

The imposing pageant of the advancing host was re- 
peated on the 14th, when General Slocum marched at 
the head of the left wing from the doomed city. Then Gen- 



LIFE OF GEN"EEAL SHEEMAN. 261 

eral Sherman, with his staff and body-guard, gave a last 
look, and took his road to Macon. " Let Hood go North ; 
our business is down South," was his brief comment upon 
the rebel general's movements. 

The torch was applied to the public buildings and 
railroad depots, flinging at night a lurid light over the 
dismantled ruined fortifications, and upon the surround- 
ing hills. The scene was grand and awful, memorable 
to all who witnessed this burning of the " Gate City." 
No private residences were designedly given to the 
flames. " The evidence of the rebels themselves has 
since appeared to show, that though Atlanta had been 
besieged, captured, and depopulated, there was no heart- 
less or unavoidable destruction of private property, such 
as the enemy have delighted to charge upon General 
Sherman. Thus abandoned, it was left in the rear of 
our army, whose face was now seaward, and the hand of 
time, with a higher degree of civilization, can only efface 
the marks inflicted by a warlike occupation. Before the 
war Atlanta was one of the most thriving inland cities of 
the South, and contained 12,000 inhabitants. 

" The rebels at Richmond received their first news of 
Sherman's departure from Atlanta, from the North, but 
refused to place confidence in it. ' It is a big Yankee 
lie,' said the Richmond Examiner, i and if Sherman real- 
ly has burnt Atlanta, it is to cover a retreat northward. 
to look after Hood.' ; But if Sherman is really attempt- 



262 LIFE OF GENEKAL SHEEMAN. 

ing this prodigious design/ it continued, ' his march will 
only lead him to the " Paradise of Fools." The more 
Southern papers, those of Augusta, Savannah, etc., were 
alike incredulous with those of Richmond, upon the re- 
ceipt of the first news of Sherman's movement. c It is 
rumored that Atlanta is evacuated/ said the Augusta 
Chronicle, of November 15, ' and we trust the rumor 
will prove correct.' The same paper of November 18, 
implores the citizens of Augusta to ' look at the situation 
without nervousness or fear — pray to G-od, but keep your 
powder dry — meet the storm like men — it's always dark- 
est just before day.' 

" It is only necessary to follow Sherman's course, to 
note the precision with which he moved, the. width of 
country which he covered, and the directness of his 
march upon his objective point, to realize the impotency 
of all the shrieks, invocations, and proclamations that 
only spoiled so much valuable paper in the Confederacy." 

While the heavens hung like curtains of glowing 
crimson above and around the circular theatre of rum, 
whose cinders shot through the hot atmosphere con- 
tinually, the fine band of the Thirty-third Massachusetts 
were playing, " John Brown's soul goes marching on ! " 
The effect was awfully grand ; the strange stirring an- 
them rising over the advance of that mighty host whose 
way was flashing with the torchlights of burning build- 
ings. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 263 

Let us suppose we were upon an eminence near At- 
lanta, with power of vision to look away over the " heart 
of Georgia," the goal of General Sherman's moving 
columns. Running through it are two railroads, the 
only lines traversing the State of Georgia, and forming 
the chief link of railway connection between Virginia and 
the States of Alabama and Mississippi, now the south- 
western limit of the so-called Confederacy. One of these 
railroads is the Georgia Central, running from Savannah 
to Macon, 190 miles, thence to Atlanta, by the Macon 
and Western Railroad, 101 miles, making the total dis- 
tance from Savannah to Atlanta by railroad, 291 miles. 
The other is the Georgia Railroad, running from Augusta 
to Atlanta, at from 40 to 60 miles north of the Georgia 
Central Railroad, and making the distance to Atlanta, 
from Augusta, 171 miles. At Millen, on the Georgia 
Central road, 79 miles north of Savannah, is the junction 
of a branch road, called the Waynesboro* Railroad, which 
connects with Augusta, 53 miles distant, and makes the 
distance by rail from Savannah to Augusta 132 miles. 
Along these lines of travel the country is thickly settled, 
and richly productive. Cotton, wheat, and corn fields, 
with forests and streams, mansions and slave huts, 
make a southern landscape inviting to a great army, 
whose thousands of men must have food to eat, and 
plenty of it. To cover the railroads and destroy them 
as the troops advanced, making Milledgeville, the capital, 



264 LIFE OF GEKTEEAL SHERMAN. 

a point of rendezvous, was the first object of the com- 
mander. General Kilpatrick's splendid cavalry protected 
flank and fronts — " the eyes of the army." On, on, the 
extended wings move ; while a cavalry force sweeps off 
toward Macon, where General Cobb commands the rebel 
militia, to make him believe an attack upon him is de- 
signed. The " fire-eater" is awake to his perilous posi- 
tion, and ready to defend " Southern rights ;" when, lo ! 
the horsemen suddenly disappear. Their enterprise seems 
a serious joke, provoking a laugh ; for it was to keep at 
Macon the only force that could dispute the way, excepting 
some cavalry brigades at Macon, till left fairly in the rear. 
This being done, General Sherman cared little where the 
Confederate hero went. The enemy was amazed and be- 
wildered — the bold invader's plans baffled his attempts to 
decipher them. An extract from a Richmond paper will 
be both a curious and interesting illustration. 

The Sentinel with assurance declared : " It is not Sher- 
man's object to make his way to the Atlantic to assist 
Meade, leaving Thomas heir to his far higher honors and 
responsibilities in the West. If he shall succeed in pene- 
trating the circle that now surrounds him, and escaj»ing 
to Port Royal, his first anxiety, like Kilpatrick's, will be 
for ships to take him away. Steam to Annapolis, and 
steam to Nashville, if Nashville be not already fallen, will 
be all too slow to quiet his impatience and to mollify hia 
chagrin. While his own course through Georgia will 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 265 

have been that of an arrow through the air, or a ship 
over the sea, leaving no track behind ; while his exploits 
and his honors will have been those of the baffled fox 
hounded from the barn-yard, or the disappointed wolf, 
chased and pelted by the shepherds ; he will return to 
Tennessee to find Hood, we trust, in possession of the 
State. He will return to find that his campaign into 
Georgia, so boastfully entered upon, has but lost the ter- 
ritories won by his predecessors." 

While the editors and other leading minds at the 
Confederate capital were thus speculating and wondering, 
General Sherman was having a most auspicious start on 
the long march over rebel soil. " The right wing moved 
directly south from Atlanta, which is in Fulton County, 
to Rough and Ready and Jonesboro' stations on the 
Macon and "Western Railroad, in Fayette County. On 
November 16th one column of the right wing passed 
through Jonesboro', twenty-six miles south of Atlanta, 
Wheeler's cavalry and Cobb's militia retiring upon Griffin. 
Another column of the right wing occupied McDonough, 
November 17th, the county seat of Henry County, some 
distance east of Jonesboro', and about thirty-five miles 
southeast of Atlanta. Henry County is one of the largest 
and richest of Georgia, and here our forces found large 
supplies of provisions and forage. On the 16th Wheeler 
engaged our cavalry at Bear Creek station, ten miles 
north of Griffin, and telegraphed General Hardee that he 



266 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

had ' checked the Yankee advance.' The very same 
evening, at six o'clock, his ragged troopers fell back 
through Griffin, in the direction of Barnesville, where 
Cobb's militia had already preceded him. Our cavalry 
occupied Griffin, which is the county seat of Spalding 
County, on the 17th, and on the 18th drove Wheeler out 
of Barnesville, in Pike County, and through Forsyth, the 
county seat of Monroe County, seventy-six miles south 
of Atlanta and twenty-five miles northwest of Macon." 

Turning to the map you will see the Ocumulgee 
River, on whose banks Macon is situated, northeast of 
which, on the Oconee, is Milledgeville, the State capital. 
November 20th General Sherman crossed the former 
stream with his face toward the seat of government ; this 
was the first intelligence the rebels had of his purpose to 
pass by Macon. Meanwhile General Howard's columns 
moved rapidly through Monticello, the shire town of 
Jasper County, burning the courthouse, thence to Hills- 
boro', the county seat of Jones County, to reach the 
Georgia Central Railroad at Gordon, where the branch 
track to Milledgeville has its junction. Thus General 
Sherman left General Cobb behind, and sending to Gris- 
woldville a rear-guard of infantry, pushed on the 21st 
to Milledgeville, with General Howard's troops ready to 
join him. 

The march, so far, had averaged thirteen and a half 
miles each day, making ninety-five miles from Atlanta. 



LIFE OF GENERAL BHERMATT. 267 

There was no need of great haste, and the strength of tha 
men was spared for the vast enterprise before them. 
-' General Sherman camped on the plantation of Howell 
Cobb. We found his granaries well filled with corn and 
wheat, part of which was distributed and eaten by our 
animals and men. A large supply of syrup made from 
sorghum, which we have found at nearly every planta- 
tion on our march, was stored in an out-house. This was 
also disposed of to the soldiers and the poor decrepit ne- 
groes, which this humane, liberty-loving major-general, 
abandoned to die in this place a few days ago. 

" General Sherman distributed to the negroes with 
his own hands the provisions left here, and assured them 
that we were their friends, and they need not be afraid 
that we were foes. One old man answered him : ' I 
spose dat you'se true ; but, massa, you'se '11 go way to- 
morrow, and anudder white man will come.' He had 
never known any thing but oppression, and had been 
kept in such ignorance that he did not dare put faith in 
any white man. The negroes were told that as soon 
as we got them into our power, they were put into the 
front of the battle, and we killed them if they did not 
fight ; that we threw the women and children into the 
Chattahoochie, and when the buildings were burned in 
Atlanta, we filled them with negroes, to be devoured by 
the flames. 

u General Sherman invited all able-bodied ne- 



268 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

groes (others could not make the march) to join the 
column, and he takes especial pleasure when they join 
the procession, on some occasions telling them they are 
free: that Massa Lincoln has given them their liberty, 
and that they can go where they please ; that if they earn 
their freedom they should have it, hut that Massa Lin- 
coln had given it to them anyhow. Thousands of negro 
women join the column, some carrying household truck ; 
others, and many of them there are, who bear the heavy 
burdens of children in their arms, while older boys and 
girls plod by their sides. All these women and children 
are ordered back, heartrending though it may be to re- 
fuse them liberty. 

"But the majority accept the advent of the Yankees 
as the fulfilment of the millennial prophecies. The ' day 
of jubilee,' the hope and prayer of a lifetime, has come. 
They cannot be made to understand that they must re- 
main behind, and they are satisfied only when Gen- 
eral Sherman tells them, as he does every day, that we 
shall come back for them some time, and that they 
must be patient until the proper hour of deliverance 
comes." 

The enemy finding our army had deceived them and 
was gone, General Cobb sent a force from Macon to attack 
the rear-guard at Griswoldsville, a part of which had been 
employed to threaten Macon, where a sharp skirmish 
resulted in a loss to them of several hundred killed and 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 269 

wounded ; the severest battle of all the march. General 
Slocum' s left wing had pressed on through De Kalb 
County to Covington, burning railroad buildings on the 
way. Near this town, while foraging in the fine fertile 
country, a force from one of the brigades of the Twentieth 
Corps was assailed by a party of " bushwhackers," and 
one of our soldiers killed. Then followed the execution 
of General Sherman's threat of devastation, involving in 
it the burning of the Methodist College at Oxford. The 
large libraries, the cabinets and apparatus, all were swept 
away by the fires of war, the charred ruins of an institu- 
tion which cost nearly a million of dollars, only remain- 
ing in the wake of relentless Mars. General Slocum 
pushed forward his troops, living on the " fat of the 
land," destroying railways, and flinging on his path the 
flames of burning warehouses, markets, and bridges. The 
same day that General Howard reached Gordon, General 
Slocum was at Eatonton, the northern terminus of the 
branch railroad. The troops came together at Milledge- 
ville, General Howard entering it first with his troops ; 
because the far-seeing commander-in-chief found that the 
best point for crossing the Oconee was there. 

The legislature, which was in session on the 18th, 
hearing of the advance of General Sherman's resistless 
columns, prepared to flee before them. Governor Brown 
departed in his private carriage for Macon, taking with 
him the public papers, funds, and whatever of personal 



270 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

effects he could convey. Never was such a stampede of 
the law-making chivalry of Georgia dreamed of by them. 
Members of this terrified body hurried away to Augusta, 
and others followed the Governor to Macon ; some in car- 
riages, some on horses, and others on foot, not having 
Confederate currency enough to pay for other means of 
escape. Two of the honorable fugitives paid one thou- 
sand dollars to be carried eight miles. Scarcely had 
Governor Brown reached Macon when he hastened to 
the City Hall and issued a flaming proclamation — chan- 
ticleer crowing after he is driven from the field by his 
rival in the fight. 

Catching the contagious alarm, in the wake of the fugi- 
tive legislature, the citizens able to get away, carrying with 
them to the depot their household treasures, then also fled, 
until the infirm and the negroes only represented the just 
now proud and defiant population. The latter were wild 
with joy, embracing the soldiers, and exclaiming, " Bless 
de Lord ! tanks be to Almighty God, the Yanks is come ; 
the day of jubilee hab arrived ! " Such was their simple 
recognition of God in the war, and of the friends of liberty. 
General Sherman's headquarters were at the Executive 
Mansion, its former occupant having, with extremely bad 
grace, in fleeing from his distinguished visitor, taken with 
him the entire furniture of the building. As General Sher- 
man travels with a roll of blankets, and haversack full of 
hard tack, which is as complete an outfit for a life out in 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 271 

the open air as in a palace, this discourtesy of Governor 
Brown Was not a serious inconvenience. 

The campaign toward the sea was now fairly opened, 
and successful in all its details : " At first, moving his 
army in three columns, with a column of cavalry on his 
extreme right, upon eccentric lines, he diverted the atten- 
tion of the enemy, so that he concentrated his forces at 
extreme points, Macon and Augusta, leaving unimpeded 
the progress of the main body. In this campaign it was 
not the purpose of the General to spend his time before for- 
tified cities, nor yet to encumber his wagons with wounded 
men. His instructions to Kilpatrick were to demonstrate 
against Macon, getting within five miles of the city. 

" With that ignorance of danger common to new 
troops, the rebels rushed upon our veterans with the 
greatest fury. They were received with grape-shot and 
musketry at point blank range, our soldiers firing coolly 
while shouting derisively to the quivering columns to 
come on, as if they thought the whole thing a nice joke. 
The rebels resumed the attack, but with the same fatal 
results, and were soon in full flight, leaving more than 
three hundred dead on the field. Our loss was some 
forty killed and wounded, while their killed, wounded, 
and prisoners, are estimated to exceed two thousand five 
hundred. A pretty severe lesson they received. It 
is said, ' Ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute' This first 
step has been a most expensive one, and judging from the 



272 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

fact that we have not heard from them since, they seem 
to have interpreted the proverb otherwise than in the re- 
ognized sense." 

Gov. Brown reluctantly left in Milledgeville three thou- 
sand muskets and several thousand pounds of powder, to 
be destroyed by our troops. Then came a comic episode 
in the march. A number of officers and men took pos- 
session of the State House, elected a speaker, a clerk, and 
a chaplain, and went to work upon bills and resolutions in 
earnest. Calls to order, deciding between members claim- 
ing the floor, and humorous hits, filled up the time. 
When in the midst of the amusing excitement, a courier 
rushed in, saying, the " Yankees are coming !" then there 
was a sudden suspension of business, a panic, and a run 
for the doors. This was succeeded by an uproar of 
laughter. 

Somehow the entreaty of the politicians and edi- 
tors of the Confederacy to burn and otherwise destroy 
property likely to fall into our hands, did not move the 
hearts of traitors. Each waited to see his neighbor com- 
mence the havoc, and excepting what the army appropri- 
ated, and the rebels carried off, but little damage was 
done. The enemy was completely in the mist of mys- 
tery, and General Sherman's skilful, blinding move- 
ments, successfully deluded his antagonists. Their 
blows were always hesitating, and, when given by them, 
were equally ineffectual. It was evident, however, that 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 273 

the Oconee River must be passed at some point by our 
troops. Accordingly, the enemy posted himself where 
the railroad crosses the river, five miles east of Gordon, 
and here burned the bridge. "Wednesday, the 23d, 
brought our troops well up to the river. 

The people along the line of march seldom expressed 
their sentiments to the army. A few illustrations from 
those who saw and heard for themselves, will give the 
general feeling: "When they do speak it is not in vain 
eulogy of the rebel army and the cause in which they are 
engaged. They are broken in spirits, and the haughty 
secession ladies, who by force of ' arms' and tongue drove 
their brothers, sons, and lovers, into the army, are now 
as meek as singed kittens, and only too glad to smile upon 
a good-looking Yankee. They all frankly admit that 
their cause is hopeless— that subjugation awaits them in 
the future, and all they now wish is for the storm to 
burst and pass ; that peace with them, crushed beneath 
the Yankee heel, is preferable to the present state of 
things. 

" ' Great God ! ' exclaimed one very intelligent Mil- 
ledgeville lady, whose all had been taken, ' little did I 
think, when I bade my dear boys, who now sleep in their 
graves, good-bye, and packed them off, that this day would 
come, when old, impoverished, and childless, I must ask 
the men whom they fought against for a meal of victuals 
to satisfy my hunger. But it serves me right ; I was de- 
18 



274 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

ceived, drove them to battle, death, and infamy, and here 
I stand, their murderer.' 

" Riding up to a house one day, I met an old woman 
and three grown-up daughters at the door uttering frantic 
appeals for help. I inquired what was wrong, when the 
old woman pointed to a burning cotton gin, and exclaimed, 
( Put it out ! You uns are burnin' me child ! ' I asked 
where the child was, and succeeded in learning that it 
was in the burning gin house. Away I went, with some 
men, to rescue the innocent, and at the door met a ten 
year old boy, who, badly singed, issued forth from the 
fiery furnace. Returning to the house, I inquired how 
the boy came there ? Putting the pipe between her lips, 
to compose her nerves, the old lady at last ventured an 
explanation : ' Well,' said she, ' we uns heard that you 
uns killed all the little boys, to keep them out from grow- 
ing up to fight ye, and we hid 'em.' Strange as this may 
seem, among the poor, ignorant dupes of Davis, it is a 
common belief that the Yankees slay all the male chil- 
dren. We found many infant Moseses and Jeffs hid away 
in cellars and corn-cribs, but none in bulrushes. An officer 
called upon a lady in Effingham County, whose planta- 
tion had been stripped of every thing, and found her in 
tears and her children crying for bread. He endeavored 
to soothe her, when she lifted up her beautiful eyes be- 
seechingly, and implored, ' Give me something for my 
starving children.' Away the officer went to his mess 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 275 

and fed the children from his private larder. On the fol 
lowing morning he was quite chagrined to witness two 
oak boxes, one barrel of flour, four trunks, and other arti- 
cles exhumed from the garden by the soldiers." 

The eight days' march to Miilen, seventy-five miles 
from Miiledgeville, was full of varied and remarkable 
interest. General Kilpatrick, with his " ubiquitous 
cavalry," galloped away to the Central Railroad bridge, 
over the Oconee, twenty-five miles southeast of Mii- 
ledgeville, where General Howard was trying to build a 
pontoon-bridge, which the rebel General Wayne, with a 
brigade of released inmates of the penitentiary, and of 
militia, was determined to prevent ; a battle followed, and 
the enemy was driven back. Then again the unrivalled 
trooper acted as " a curtain" upon the extreme left, hav- 
ing covered in the same way the right wing in the earlier 
part of the campaign ; while all the time he had the 
nobler aim, if possible, to reach Miilen in time to rescue 
our incarcerated and dying prisoners of war. " The 
stockade or coop in which our prisoners were confined, 
after their removal from Andersonville, was located in a 
dense pine forest, six miles from Miilen station, on the 
Savannah and Augusta Railroad. It was a square of fifteen 
acres, enclosed by pine logs set upright in the ground, 
very close together. At intervals of twenty feet along 
the palisades were the sentry boxes, fifteen feet from the 
ground ; access to them could only be had by means 



, 



276 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN 

of ladders on the outside. The palisade logs were uni- 
formly ten inches thick, and so straight and close were 
they that all view of the pine woods beyond them was 
shut out from the unfortunates within. Entering at the 
broad gate they crossed the ' dead line ' (single rail fence) 
fearlessly, and approached the burrows or adobe huts 
where the ' Yankees ' had slept in confinement. These 
were not filthy, because no considerable amount of filth 
could accumulate during the three weeks our men were 
kept there ; but they were cheerless and comfortless. 
There was no attempt at regularity in laying out this vil- 
lage of Kennel. In one of them the dead body of a Union 
soldier, name unknown, was found unburied. Decidedly 
the most comfortable looking appendage to the stockade 
was the brick cook-honse near the centre, with accommo- 
dation for a dozen or fifteen men to work at a time. At 
the southeast angle of the stockade, on the outside, stood 
a square earthwork, built to command with its guns both 
the burrows inside and the approaches to the logs on the 
outside. In the hospital huts, a quarter of a mile from 
the pen, were good accommodations for three hundred 
men, and there were evidences that they were not suffi- 
cient. A fine large spring, where excellent water bubbled 
out, completed the lists of objects familiar to the brave 
boys who had lived in that silent clearing in the pine 
woods. The dead prisoners were buried in rows, a short 
distance from the hospital, graves being numbered as high 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 277 

as six hundred and fifty. The prisoners were kept at 
Millen only three weeks." 

November 29th the " boys " kept Thanksgiving upon 
the luxuries of Georgia plantations. The Ogeehee was 
crossed on November 30th. It is a stream sixty yards 
wide, where the troops passed over on a bridge which 
was put in repair, and with pontoons. 

In a sketch from a reliable source, we have an explana- 
tion of the false charge made by a distinguished orator 
against General Sherman, that he removed a bridge, and 
left unprotected negroes to the enemy. He knew nothing ' 
of the sad affair when it occurred : 

" From the time we left Atlanta, with fifty or one 
hundred contrabands, the ' colored brigades ' continued to 
swell in numbers until we arrived at the Ogeechee Biver, 
when fully ten thousand were attached to the various 
columns. They represented all shades and conditions, 
from the almost white housemaid servant, worth $15,000 
in rebel currency, to the tar black, pock-marked cotton 
picker, who never crosses massa's door sill. A very large 
majority of them were women and children, who, mounted 
on mules, sometimes five on an animal, in ox wagons, 
buggies, and vehicles of every description, blocked the 
roads and materially delayed the movement of the columns. 
It was no unusual sight to behold a slave mother carrying 
two young children and leading a third, who, in a half 
nude state, trudged along the thorny path to freedom. 



278 LITE OP GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

Columns could "be written descriptive of the harrowing 
scenes presented by this unfortunate class of fugitives. So 
much difficulty did General Davis find in moving his 
column, that at the Ogeechee River, as a military neces- 
sity, he placed a guard at the bridge, who halted the 
caravan of contrabands until the rear of the column 
passed, and then removed the pontoon. The negroes, 
however, not to be frustrated, constructed a foot bridge 
and crossed. Next day the column had its full comple- 
ment of negroes. 

" Arriving at Ebenezer Creek, the same method was 
taken to clear the column, with better success. The 
creek runs through a half mile of swamp, which is covered 
by water, and can only be crossed by a narrow bridge. 
This bridge was taken up, and the moment our forces dis- 
appeared the brutal Wheeler was in our rear. Next day 
only a few darkies came up. Another day passed and 
still fully two-thirds were missing. Inquiries elicited the 
information that Wheeler, on finding the defenceless ne- 
groes blocked, drove them pellmell into the water, where 
those who escaped say they struggled to reach the oppo- 
site bank, amidst heartrending shrieks ; but most of the 
mothers went down in the water with their children 
clasped to their bosoms, while Wheeler and his inhuman 
band looked on with demoniac smiles. How far true this 
may be I know not, but all the negroes who escaped, with 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKMAN. 279 

whom I have talked, seem to agree in their account of the 
hellish slaughter." 

The bridges over the Oconee and Fisher's Creek 
were burned behind the army. The rebels were com- 
pelled to speak well, on the whole, of General Sherman's 
command. I shall add their testimony, given at the 
time : 

" In their route they destroyed, as far as possible, all 
mills, cribs, and gin-houses, cotton screws and gins, cot- 
ton implements, etc., and carried off all stock, provisions, 
and negroes. TVhen their horses gave out they shot 
them. At Eatonton they killed over one hundred. At 
Milledgeville they only destroyed the arsenal, depot, and 
penitentiary. They did not burn the factory near that 
place. The right wing of the Federal army, under 
General Howard, crossed the Ocmulgee River between 
Adams's Ferry and Macon. It is said that the town of 
Forsyth was completely demolished. The Federals ex- 
pressed great astonishment at the rich country they were 
passing, and the abundance of provisions in it. General 
Slocum gave orders to the citizens along his route to 
shoot down his stragglers without mercy. One punish- 
ment inflicted by some of the Federal generals for plun- 
dering, was severe whipping. A portion of Major Gra- 
ham's command reached this city last night. They re- 
port that they visited Atlanta several days since, and 
found it completely evacuated and burned, They state 



280 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

that the Federals took all the cattle and forage in theii 
route, but did not molest those who stayed at home." 

" The most pathetic scenes occur upon our line of 
march daily and hourly. Thousands of negro women 
join the column, some carrying household truck ; others, 
and many of them there are, who bear the burden of 
children in their arms, while older boys and girls plod by 
their sides. All these women and children are ordered 
back, heartrending though it may be to refuse them lib- 
erty. They won't go. One begs that she may go to see 
her husband and children at Savannah. Long years ago 
she was forced from them and sold. Another has heard 
that her boy was in Macon, and she is ' done gone with 
grief goin' on four years.' 

" The other day a woman with a child in her arms 
was working her way along amongst the teams and 
crowds of cattle and horsemen. An officer called to her 
kindly : ' Where are you going, aunty ? ' 

" She looked up into his face with a hopeful, beseech- 
ing look, and replied : 

" ' I'se gwine whar you'se gwine, massa.' 

"At a house a few miles from Milledgeville we 
halted for an hour. In an old hut I found a negro and 
his wife, both of them over sixty years old. In the talk 
which ensued nothing was said which led me to suppose 
that either of them was anxious to leave their mistress, 
who, by the way, was a sullen, cruel-looking woman, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 281 

when all at once the old negress straightened herself up, 
and her face, which a moment before was almost stupid 
in its expression, assumed a fierce, almost devilish, aspect. 

" Pointing her shining black finger at the old man, 
crouched in the corner of the fire-place, she hissed out : 
4 What for you sit dar ? you spose I wait sixty years for 
nutten? Don't yer see de door open? I'se follow my 
child ; I not stay. Yes, nodder day I goes 'long wid 
dese people ; yes sar, I walks till I drops in my tracks.' 
A more terrible sight I never beheld. I can think of 
nothing to compare with it, except Charlotte Cushman's 
Meg Merrilies. Rembrandt only could have painted the 
scene, with its dramatic surroundings. 

" It was near this place that several factories were 
burned. It was odd to see the delight of the negroes at 
the destruction of places known only to them as task- 
houses, where they had groaned under the lash. 

" Pointing to the Atlanta and Augusta Railroad, 
which had been destroyed, the question was asked, J It 
took a longer time to build this railroad than it does to 
destroy it ? ' 

" ' I would think it did, massa ; in dat ar woods over 
dar is buried ever so many black men who were killed; 
sar, yes, killed, a working on dat road — whipped to deth. 
I seed em, sar.' 

" ' Does the man live here who beat them?' 

*\ ' Oh no, sar ; he's dun gone long time.* 



282 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

" I have seen blind and lame mules festooned with 
infants in bags, and led by fond parents so aged and 
weak they could hardly totter along. ' Mars'r Sherman 
was a great man, but dis am de work ob de Lord,' they said." 

The swampy borders were belted with " corduroy," 
and their heavy fogs hung over the halting columns. At 
evening the spectacle was weird-like in its wild romance. 
" A novel and vivid sight was it to see the fires of 
pitch pine flaring up into the mist and darkness, the fig- 
ures of men and horses looming out of the dense shadows 
in gigantic proportions. Torchlights are blinking and 
flashing away off in the forests, while the still air echoed 
and reechoed with the cries of teamsters and the wild 
shouts of the soldiers. A long line of the troops marched 
across the foot-bridge, each soldier bearing a torch, their 
light reflected in quivering lines in the swift running 
stream. Soon the fog, which settles like a blanket over 
the swamps and forests of the river bottoms, shut down 
upon the scene, and so dense and dark was it that 
torches were of but little use, and men were directed here 
and there by the voice." 

Not far from this spot the troops encountered a sin- 
gular character. He had been depot-master before the 
railroad was destroyed — a shrewd, intelligent old man, 
so far as the war is concerned. He said to the soldiers : 
" They say you are retreating, but it is the strangest 
sort of retreat I ever saw. Why, the newspapers have 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 283 

been lying in this way all along. They allers are whip- 
ping the Federal armies, and they allers fall back after 
the battle is over. It was that ar' idee that first opened 
my eyes. Our army was allers whipping the Feds, and 
we allers fell back. I allers told 'em it was a humbug, 

and now by I know it, for here you are right on 

old John Wells's place ; hogs, potatoes, corn, and fences 
all gone. I don't find any fault. I expected it all. 

" c Jeff. Davis and the rest,' he continued, ' talk about 
splitting the Union. Why if South Carolina had gone 
out by herself, she would have been split in four pieces 
by this time. Splitting the Union ! Why, the State of 
Georgia is being split right through from end to end. It 
is these rich fellows who are making the war, and keep- 
ing their precious bodies out of harm's way. There's 
John Franklin went through here the other day running 
away from your army. I could have played dominoes 
on his coat tails. There's my poor brother, sick with 
small-pox at Macon, working for eleven dollars a month, 
and hasn't got a cent of the stuff for a year. Eleven 
dollars a month and eleven thousand bullets a minute. I 
don't believe in it, sir. 

" ' My wife came from Canada, and I kind o' thought 
I would some time go there to live, but was allers afraid 
of the ice and cold ; but I can tell you this country is 
getting too hot for me. Look at my fence rails burning 
there. I think I can stand the cold better. 



284: LIFE OE GENEKAL SHERMAN. 

" ' I heard as how they cut down the trees across you* 
road up country and burn the bridges ; why, one of your 
Yankees can take up a tree and carry it off, tops and all ; 
and there's that bridge you put across the river in less 
than two hours — they might as well try to stop the Ogee- 
chee as you Yankees. 

" ' The rascals who burnt this yere bridge thought 
they did a big thing ; a natural born fool would have 
more sense than any of them. 

'"To bring back the good old time/ he said, ' it'll 
take the help of Divine Providence, a heap of rain, and a 
deal of hard work, to fix things up again/ " 

It is interesting to look over the sea and get a glimpse 
of the impressions of our English friends regarding the 
" wandering host." The organ of the army and navy 
said : " It is clear that, so long as he roams about with 
his army inside the Confederate States, he is more deadly 
than twenty Grants, and that he must he destroyed if 
Richmond or any thing is to be saved. Lee will probably 
be forced by this condition of affairs to assume the offen 
sive, because he cannot afford to let Grant hold his hands 
whilst Sherman is committing burglary in the Southern 
mansion. If Sherman has really left his army in the air, 
and started off without a base to march from Georgia 
into South Carolina, he has done either one of the most 
brilliant or one of the most foolish things ever performed 
by a military leader." 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAK. 285 

The great leader and Lis intelligent troops must have 
enjoyed the mystery in which both friends and foes were 
living ; knowing well that in public and private circles, 
in the periodical press and the national councils, the spec- 
ulations and theories abbut him, the fears and hopes, 
were manifold and often ludicrous, while his battal- 
ions were having a triumphal march over the proudest 
portion of the Confederacy. " The great army, over the 
lands and into the dwellings of the poor and rich alike, 
through towns and cities, like a roaring wave, swept, and 
paused, revelled and surged on. In the day-time, the 
splendor, the toil, the desolation of the march ; in the 
night-time, the brilliance, the gloom, the music, the joy 
and the slumber of the camp. Memorable the music 
1 that mocked the moon ' of November of the soil of 
Georgia ; sometimes a triumphant march, sometimes a 
glorious waltz, again an old air stirring the heart alike to 
recollection and to hope. Floating out from throats of 
brass to the ears of soldiers in their blankets and gen- 
erals within their tents, these tunes hallowed the eves to 
to all who listened. 

" Sitting before his tent in the glow of a camp fire 

one evening, General Sherman let his cigar go out to 

listen to an air that a distant band was playing. The 

■ 
musicians ceased at last. The general turned to one of 

his officers ; ' Send an orderly to ask that band to play 

that tune again.' 



286 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

"A little while, and the band received the word. 
The tune was ' The Blue Juniata/ with exquisite varia- 
tions. The band played it again, even more beautifully 
than before. Again it ceased, and then, off to the right, 
nearly a quarter of a mile away, the voices of some sol- 
diers took it up with words. The band, and still another 
band, played a low accompaniment ; camp after camp 
began singing ; the music of ' The Blue Juniata ' be- 
came, for a few minutes, the oratorio of half an army. 

" Back along the whole wide pathway of this grand 
march from border to coast, the eye catches glimpses of 
scenes whose savage and poetic images an American, 
five years ago, would have thought never could have 
been revived from the romantic past." 

History records no war scenes so full of poetic in- 
terest, with so little bloodshed, as those along the path 
of this advancing host. 



CHAPTER XXII. 



The March beyond the Eiver— The Exciting Discovery by the Enemy— General 
Sherman's Strategy— On to Savannah— The Eebel— Surprise— The Army 
approach the City— A bold Movement— The Scouts— The Signals— Fort 
McAllister stormed — Savannah invested. 



,ENERAL HOWARD'S column moved down the 
east side of the Oconee River, reaching Sanders- 
ville November 26, burning the depot and tear- 
ing up the railroad near that place. General 
Slocum's battalions of the right wing marched 
northward toward Sparta, the cavalry scouring the coun- 
try, getting all the forage they needed, horses and mules, 
and making havoc with the railroads, mills, and gin- 
houses. These horsemen galloped about as if quite at 
home ; more like troops at a " general muster " than war- 
riors at work, excepting the signals of ruin they left be- 
hind. 

At this very time, November 25, the secessionists 
lurking among us at the North, matured a plot for burn- 
ing the city of New York, by firing the principal hotels. 




288 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAJ5T. 

Combustibles were placed in rooms which had been mys- 
teriously engaged, the match applied, and then the doors 
locked. But while a dozen hotels or more were thus set 
on fire, a watchful Providence led to timely discovery. 
Indeed, He confused the conspirators, so that the plot 
was poorly executed ; the very effort to conceal and give 
time for the flames to spread, by leaving the apartments 
closed, excluding the currents of air, defeated the fiendish 
design. 

December 1st, the Fourteenth Corps threatened Au- 
gusta : " The rebels became greatly frightened. Up to 
that time many of them were consoled with the idea that, 
after all, Sherman was only on a great raid into the 
heart of the State, or would yet turn and move west- 
ward upon Columbus, Montgomery, and Mobile. But 
such hopes were dispelled when his cavalry were dis- 
covered in Yfashington and Hancock counties. At Au- 
gusta preparations for defence went on vigorously. Bragg 
was summoned from Wilmington, and came, the Au- 
gusta papers said, with ten thousand men. Troops came 
from Charleston, Hampton's cavalry came from Vir- 
ginia, and the entire population of the city was put under 
arms, and all the slaves in the surrounding country were 
impressed to work upon the fortifications. Then began, 
also, a vigorous system of rebel brag. Wheeler was put 
to his trumps, and required to whip Kilpatrick three 
times a day, and to invariably close the report of his 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEBMAIN". 289 

victory with the announcement, ' after this glorious suc- 
cess we fell back ! ' All this "Wheeler most valiantly did ; 
but on one occasion, in a fight near Gibson, the county 
seat of Glascock County, being required to bring in Kil- 
patrick's head as a trophy, he humbly apologized with 
his hat, observing, that in his haste to fall back, he had 
left Kilpatrick's head on its shoulders. 

" Until it was fully ascertained that Sherman had 
reached Millen, the rebels believed that he was passing 
down between the Ogeechee and Oconee Rivers, aiming to 
reach the coast at Darien or Brunswick. Very adroit 
strategy was necessary at this juncture to conceal the real 
direction of the march, for had the rebels known in time 
that Augusta was certainly to be avoided, the entire force 
there could have been sent down to Millen, and thus 
thrown in Sherman's front, and resisted or delayed his 
march upon Savannah, and in the end would have proved 
a formidable addition to the garrison of that place. Kil- 
patrick, therefore, pressed Wheeler more vigorously than 
ever, and the latter fell back toward Augusta, which put 
him out of Sherman's way most effectually, again leaving 
liim in the rear of the very army whose advance he was 
endeavoring to resist. It was during these cavalry opera- 
tions that the fight took place at Waynesboro', December 
3d, where Wheeler attacked Kilpatrick, and reported that 
he had ' doubled him up on the main body.' But Kil- 
patrick wouldn't stay c doubled up.' On the next day 
19 



290 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

"Wheeler was compelled to make his usual report that he 
had ' signally repulsed Kilpatrick/ but was * obliged to 
fall back,' the result of which was that he was driven 
back through Waynesboro' and beyond Brier Creek, the 
railway bridge over which was destroyed, within twenty 
miles of Augusta, which was the nearest approach of our 
forces to that city. Kilpatrick then took up a position to 
guard Sherman's rear, and while doing so, his force loaded 
their wagons with the forage and provisions of Burke 
County, for use in the less fertile counties in the region 
of the coast." 

If you have consulted the map, you have noticed four 
principal rivers on the line of march ; the Ocmulgee, the 
most westerly, on whose banks is Macon ; the Oconee, 
on which is situated Milledgeville ; the Ogeechee, that 
passes Millen, and the Savannah. Augusta is on the lat- 
ter. Besides these there were several small streams, and 
great swamps across the war-path of General Sherman. 
He called the country between Sparta and Warrenton 
" one universal bog." 

The 4th of December found the great army " swing- 
ing slowly round from its eastern course," taking Millen 
as the pivot, and striking in six columns, along roads 
running in the same direction, between the Ogeechee and 
Savannah Rivers, for the city of Savannah. General 
Sherman at his leisure had secured forage in the rich 
counties of Washington, Burke, Glascock, Warren, and 



LIFE OF GENEBAL SHEBMATT. 291 

Hancock, to prepare for a formidable resistance at Savan- 
nah, which might delay the communication with Port 
Royal for supplies. The rebels said he stopped to "grind 
corn ; " but, while this was unnecessary, because the 
horses could manage the ears, and the troops had better 
fare, he was grinding their hopes of disaster to him and of 
escape, to powder. They had sent forces from Charleston 
and Wilmington to Augusta and vicinity, sure of meeting 
him there, when lo ! he was hurrying, like an avalanche, 
upon the more important city by the sea. Their feelings, 
when the bitter truth came fairly home to their compre- 
hension, were announced in an Augusta paper : " Sherman 
has not for a moment hesitated, in our humble judgment, 
as to the point to be attacked or the road to it. When 
his forage and provision trains are full he will mass his 
entire force ; throwing his cavalry to the rear, with his 
wagon train between the two wings of his army, he will 
move in compact columns, steadily but cautiously, upon 
the city of Savannah, with no fear of an attack on either 
flank. The Ogeechee and a few crossings and terrible 
swamps on his right, and the Savannah River and its 
equally swampy banks on his left, both flanks will be 
most securely covered — a grand desideratum in army 
movements. And thus situated, he has a march of some- 
thing over eighty miles to the city of Savannah." When 
the Augusta people heard that their city was no longer 
threatened, they drew a long breath and congratulated 



292 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

themselves. "The frowns and sadness with which the 
countenances of our citizens have been bedecked," said the 
Sentinel, " have given way to smiles and mirth." That is, 
" smiles and mirth" because their neighbors in Savannah 
were to be the recipients of Sherman's favors, and not they. 

Generals Davis and Kilpatrick had hitherto concealed 
and guarded the army movements. The Fifteenth Corps, 
on the right bank of the river, instead of the left wing, 
now menaced the enemy's rear. These flank manoeuvres 
of the dashing Kilpatrick, joined to General Howard as he 
had been to General Davis, were indispensable ; for our 
battalions could not clear the State of rebel troops, and 
must, therefore, avoid the delays which would attend the 
opposition of a much smaller force at the river-crossings, 
or any other spot where the difficulties of advance favored 
the enemy. 

The army found the once magnificent cotton fields 
some of them having a thousand acres covered with corn, 
according to the order of Jeff Davis, while the fleecy 
crops of former harvests had been sent to a safer distance 
from the suspected course of General Sherman's columns 
At Ogeechee Church, on the river bearing that name, and 
the narrowest part of the peninsula between the streams, 
the army concentrated on the 5th and 6th of December. 
Meanwhile General Kilpatrick, when dashing toward 
Alexandria to burn the bridge over Brier Creek, en- 
countered General "Wheeler at Waynesboro'. The sabres 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 293 

gleam in the sunlight, and the bullets fly on their fatal 
mission, resulting at each conflict in the flight of the rebel 
general. The seventy-nine miles froni Millen to Savan- 
nah steadily diminished, the splendid and triumphant 
army getting by the 8th within less than a score of miles 
from the goal of their martial and patriotic ambition. 

The heroic General Howard, at this crisis of affairs, 
executed a bold and brilliant movement. The rebels, to 
hold the Gulf Eailroad, which they were using in earnest, 
had pushed across the Ogeechee. General Corse, of " Al- 
latoona memory," who, before they were aware of it, was 
between the Little and Great Ogeechee, thirteen miles in 
advance of the main army, reached and bridged the canal 
connecting the river with Savannah, then crossing it, in- 
trenched himself securely, almost in sight of the city. 
And now the approach was hotly disputed, and brave 
men fell in the ranks of General Blair's columns. But 
some were killed by the most cowardly and shameful con- 
duct of the enemy. Shells and torpedoes had been buried 
in the way of the march, and the tread of the heroes ex- 
ploding them, a number were prostrated in a sudden and 
horrible death. The precaution then taken was a just 
though severe one. Prisoners of war were ordered for- 
ward to remove the murderous and unseen means of de- 
struction. The prisoners were sent in advance as ordered. 
Crawling, begging, praying, as their trembling fingers 
descended to dig away the earth about the death-traps 



294: LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

which they had, perhaps, helped to set, they were a pite- 
ous spectacle. Soon the path was cleared for the onward 
steps of the Union boys. General Howard's next daring 
deed was to communicate immediately with our fleet be- 
low Fort McAllister, held by a strong garrison of the 
enemy. Here, on the gunboat Dandelion, Admiral 
Dahlgren was anxiously waiting for tidings from the 
great army somewhere between Atlanta and the sea. 

On the evening of December 9th General Howard 
sent three of his trustiest scouts, Captain Duncan, and 
Sergeants Myron J. Emmick and George W. Quinly, in 
a small boat down the river. What a moment of thrilling 
interest to both the General and the brave daring fellows 
floating over the waters in that frail bark, right toward 
bristling McAllister! All was silent— the speck glided under 
the cover of darkness safely by, and hastened toward the 
Dandelion. Up went a white signal flag, and another 
from the little boat answered it. The scouts were soon 
on board the gunboat. Captain Duncan brought the fol- 
lowing despatch from General Howard : 

" Headquarters Army of the Tennessee, ) 
Near Savannah Canal, Dec. 9, 1864. \ 

" To the Commander of the United States Naval Forces in the vicinity 
of Savannah : 

" Sir : We have met with perfect success thus far. 

The troops are in fine spirits and near by. 

"Respectfully, O. O. Howard, Major-General, 

Commanding Right Wing of the Army." 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEPMAN". 295 

Thi3 was the first intelligence direct from the army, 
and " completely dispelled all doubts and fears, as well as 
dissipated an immense amount of rebel bombast and boast- 
ing of the impediments and difficulties with which Sher- 
man had met, to say nothing of the repeated total annihi- 
lation of Kilpatrick's cavalry, which seems not to have 
been worthy of mention by General Howard or General 
Sherman. Wheeler, who at last accounts was ' hacking 
away at Sherman's rear,' must have had a very dull sabre." 

The gallant Hazen was preparing, with his western 
boys, to storm Fort McAllister, according to General 
Sherman's orders. On the Ogeechee, opposite the fort, 
stood the rice mill of Dr. Cheroe, from whose roof the 
view of the fortress was distinct. There you might have 
seen Generals Sherman and Howard, with staff and sig- 
nal officers about them. He was waiting for General 
Hazen's signals, and gazing away toward the sea for 
some sign of the fleet's presence there. Suddenly a smile 
lights up the bronzed face of the eagle-eyed leader of the 
Union legions, and he exclaims : 

" l Look ! Howard ; there is the gunboat ! ' 

" Time passed on, and the vessel now became visible, 
yet no signal from the fleet or Hazen. Half an hour passed, 
and the guns of the fort opened simultaneously with puffs 
of smoke that rose a few hundred yards from the fort, 
showing that Hazen's skirmishers had opened. A mo- 
ment after Hazen signalled : 



296 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

" 6 1 have invested the fort, and will assault imme- 
diately.' At this moment Bickley announces 'A signal 
from the gunboat.' All eyes are turned from the fort to 
the gunboat that is coming to our assistance with news 
from home. A few messages pass, which inform us that 
Foster and Dahlgren are within speaking distance. The 
gunboat now halts and asks — 

" ' Can we run up ? Is Fort McAllister ours ? ' 

" 4 No,' is the reply, ' Hazen is just ready to storm it. 
Can you assist ? ' 

" ' Yes,' is the reply. c What will you have us do ? ' 

"But before Sherman can reply to Dahlgren the 
thunders of the fort are heard, and the low sound of small 
arms borne across three miles of marsh and river. Field 
glasses are opened, and sitting flat upon the roof the 
hero of Atlanta gazes away off to the fort. i There they 
go grandly ; not a waver,' he remarks. 

" Twenty seconds pass, and again he exclaims : 

" * See that flag in the advance, Howard ; how steadily 
it moves ; not a man falters. * * There they go still ; 
see the roll of musketry. Grand ! grand ! ' 

" Still he strained his eyes, and a moment after speaks 
without raising his eyes : 

" ' That flag still goes forward ; there is no flinching 
there.' 

" A pause for a minute. 

" ' Look ! ' he exclaims, ' it has halted. They waver ; 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 297 

no ! it's the parapet ! There they go again ; now they 
scale it ; some are over. Look ! there's a flag on the 
works ! Another, another. It's onrs ! The fort's ours ! ' 

" The glass dropped by his side ; and in an instant the 
joy of the great leader at the possession of the river and 
the opening of the road to his new base burst forth in 
words: 

" ' As the old darkie remarked, dis chile don't sleep 
dis night ! ' And turning to one of his aids, Captain 
Auderied, he remarked, ' Have a boat for me at once ; I 
must go there,' pointing to the fort, from which half a 
dozen battle flags floated grandly in the sunset. 

" And well might William Tecumseh Sherman re- 
joice ; for here, as the setting sun went down upon Fort 
McAllister reduced, and kissed a fond good night to the 
Starry Banner, Sherman witnessed the culmination of 
all his plans and marches, that had involved such des- 
perate resistance and risk, the opening up of a new and 
shorter route to his base. Here at sunset, on the memo- 
rable 13th of December, the dark waters of the great 
Ogeechee bore witness to the fulfilment of the covenant 
Sherman made with his iron heroes at Atlanta twenty- 
nine days before, to lead them victorious to a new base. 

" Sherman's account of his movement on Fort McAl- 
lister was characteristic. Said he, 4 1 went down with 
Howard and took a look at it, and I said to my boys, 
" Boys, I don't think there are over four hundred in that 



298 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKMAN. 

fort ; but there it is, and I think we might as well have 
it.' The word was scarcely spoken before the work 
was done. Fifteen minutes were all that was required." 

The object of this fortress was the protection of the 
coast from our war vessels. It was surrounded by ob- 
structions made of rows of piles, through which was a 
small opening for a ship's entrance. 

General Sherman sent word to the fleet " that he 
would be down that night, and to look out for his boat. 
The tug immediately steamed down to Ossabaw Sound, 
to find General Foster or Admiral Dahlgren ; but they 
not being there, despatches were sent to them at Warsaw 
announcing General Sherman's intended visit, and the 
tug returned to its old position. While approaching the 
fort again a small boat was seen coming down. It was 
hailed with — 

" ' What boat is that ? ' and the welcome response came 
came back ' Sherman.' . It soon came alongside, and out 
of the little dugout, paddled by two men, stepped General 
Sherman and General Howard, and stood on the deck of 
the Dandelion. The great leader was received with cheer 
after cheer, and with every manifestation of delight and 
satisfaction by all. He was in splendid spirits, and ex- 
pressed his gratification at reaching his base. He re- 
mained on board till about two o'clock in the morning. 
While on the boat he wrote his despatches to General 
Grant, General Halleck, General Foster, and Admiral 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 299 

" On the following day lie came on board the Ne* 
maha, and was received by General Foster. The Nemaha 
then proceeded to Warsaw Sonnd, when Admiral Dahlgren, 
accompanied by his staff, came on board and spent some 
time in conversation with the General. Colonel A. H. 
Markland, superintendent of mails for the armies, came 
on board with despatches for General Sherman, and de- 
livered a verbal message from the President. Taking 
the General by the hand, the Colonel said : 

" ' General Sherman, before leaving "Washington I 
was directed by the President to take you by the hand, 
wherever I met you, and say for him, ' God bless you 
and the army under your command ; ' and he further- 
more added, ' Since cutting loose from Atlanta, my 
prayers, and those of the nation, have been for your suc- 
cess.' 

" General Sherman seemed to be deeply affected, and 
after a moment's silence could only say, ' I thank the 
President. Say my army is all right.' " 

Meanwhile Admiral Dahlgren sent a despatch to the 
Government, in which he said of the army's success and 
the brave scouts : 

" Captain Duncan states that our forces were in con- 
tact with the rebels a few miles outside of Savannah, and 
that Sherman's army are not in want of any thing. Per- 
haps no event could give greater satisfaction to the coun- 
try than that which I announced, and I beg leave to con- 



300 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

gratulate the United States Government on its occur- 
rence. It may, perhaps, be exceeding my province, but 
I cannot refrain from expressing the hope that the depart- 
ment will commend Captain Duncan and his companions 
to the Hon. Secretary of War for some marks of appro- 
bation, for the success in establishing communications 
between General Sherman and the fleet. It was an en- 
terprise that required both skill and courage." 

This was followed by a message from General Sher- 
man: 

" On Board ' Dandelion,' ) 

Ossabaw Sound, 11.50 p. m., Dec. 13. ) 

" To-day, at 5 p. m., General Hazen's division of the 
Fifteenth Corps carried Fort McAllister by assault, cap- 
turing its entire garrison and stores. This opened to us 
the Ossabaw Sound, and I pulled down to this gunboat 
to communicate with the fleet. Before opening communi- 
cation, we had completely destroyed all the railroads lead- 
ing into Savannah, and invested the city. The left is on 
the Savannah River, three miles above the city, and the 
right is on the Ogeechee River, at King's Bridge. The 
army is in splendid order and equal to any thing. The 
weather has been fine and supplies abundant. Our march 
was most agreeable, and we were not at all molested by 
guerillas. We reached Savannah three days ago, but 
owing to Fort McAllister we could not communicate ; 
now we have McAllister, we go ahead. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 301 

" We have already captured two boats on the Savan- 
nah River, and have prevented their gunboats from coming 
down. I estimate the population of Savannah at twenty- 
live thousand and the garrison at fifteen thousand. Gen- 
eral Hardee commands. "We have not lost a wagon on 
the trip, but have gathered in a large supply of mules, 
negroes, horses, etc., and our teams are in far better con- 
dition than when we started. My first duty will be to 
clear the army of surplus negroes, mules, and horses. 
We have utterly destroyed over two hundred miles of rail- 
road, and consumed stores and provisions that were es- 
sential to Lee's and Hood's armies. 

" The quick work made with Fort McAllister, and the 
opening of communication with our fleet and consequent 
independence for supplies, dissipate all their boasted 
threats to head me off and starve the army. I regard 
Savannah as already gained. Yours truly, 

" W. T. Sherman, Major-General." 

The fall of the fortress opened, as we have seen, the 
Ogeechee River to Ossabaw Sound at its mouth, into which 
our vessels sailed ; it also gave General Sherman the op- 
portunity of establishing a "water-base" anywhere on 
that stream between his army and the sea, just back of 
Savannah. It did more ; the Savannah and the Albany 
and Gulf Railroads communicating with the southern 
part of the State, were taken from the enemy, cutting off 



302 LIFE Or GENERAL SHERMAN. 

large supplies. The next move was to stretch the army 
across the peninsula between the rivers, the left resting 
on the Savannah, three miles above the city, and the ex- 
treme right on the Ogeechee at King's Bridge. All the 
railways were in our possession, the rebel gunboats which 
had gone up the Ogeechee to prevent General Sherman 
from crossing into South Carolina were shut in, and the 
commander-in-chief prepared to seize the beautiful town. 
Savannah, the largest city of Georgia, was founded by 
General Oglethorpe in 1731- , 32. 

The ocean side of the town was well guarded with 
fortifications — those grim and silent watchmen when un- 
molested, whose voice is thunder, and their words mas- 
sive globes of iron, frowned along the river-banks. Forts 
Jackson and Pulaski were formidable defences ; so much 
so that even the engineer, Beauregard, did not dream of 
an approach in the rear of the invested city. Gen- 
eral Hardee commanded the forces keeping it. 

The forces of General Sherman were so posted, that 
Hardee had to divide and weaken his force to be ready 
for any attack, while the rice fields were flooded from 
the canals, and every advantage taken by the enemy to 
ward off the impending blow. This is the general view 
of the situation, December 13th, 1864. Such was the 
derided retreat of General Sherman, after General Hood 
swept backward from burning Atlanta into Tennessee ! 
I need not record here what the noble Thomas, with tried 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 303 

veterans, did with the rebel general at Nashville, sending 
his battalions " whirling" toward his invaded Secessia, 
just as the comprehensive genius of the pursuer had 
planned, and confidently expected he would. For, the 
glory of this marvellous campaign, under God, belongs to 
that sagacious, resolute, and modest chieftain. 




CHAPTER XXni. 

The Surrender of the City demanded— The Eefusal— Preparation to Attack— 
The Enemy Flee — The Entrance of the Union Army — Scenes that followed 
— General Sherman and the Negroes. 

^ECEMBER 20th, Fort Lee and other defences 
of Savannah had been taken, but there was left 
a single narrow path of escape for the beleaguered 
enemy — the Union Causeway, just below Hutch- 
inson's Island, which it was difficult for our 
troops to reach. But General Sherman had his eye on 
this outlet, intending to secure it within a day or two, 
shutting in General Hardee and his army. The next 
morning a flag of truce was sent toward the city gates, 
under whose protection was conveyed the demand for its 
surrender. The brief message of General Sherman closed 
with the words which General Hood used in his call for 
the surrender of Dalton, a few months before, with its 
negro troops : 

" If the demand is not complied with, I shall take no 
prisoners." 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 305 

General Hardee replied defiantly, declaring that he 
had men and supplies for a successful defence. This was 
done to deceive the army closing like the coil of an ana- 
conda about him. General Sherman suspected it, but the 
officers generally expected a battle. The preparations 
for assault went forward rapidly. 

The rebel chief improved his opportunity, and suddenly 
decamped under cover of night, defiling along the cause- 
way while our weary troops were resting on their arms. 
He had stationed his iron-clads near Hutchinson's Island, 
which, with the battalions on its lower end, protected the 
highway of the flying thousands whose arms reflected the 
glare of the burning Navy Yard, fired during the evacua- 
tion. The thunder of exploding iron-clads, destroyed by 
the rear-guard, was the last signal of his retreat from the 
boastful Hardee : " The night was exceedingly propitious 
for such an operation. It was dark and a heavy wind 
was blowing from the west, conveying the sound of 
trampling feet over the pontoons away from our lines. 
But during some of the lulls that occurred General Geary, 
commanding the Second division, Twentieth Corps, the 
extreme left of our lines resting on the Savannah River, 
heard the movement across the bridge, but could not de- 
cide in which direction the troops were passing. He 
ordered his division to be ready at a moment's notice to 
move, and then watched the progress of affairs. At mid- 
night General Geary became convinced in his own mind 
20 



306 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

that the enemy were evacuating the town, and notified 
the commanding general of this fact. The enemy's skir- 
mish line continued a fusilade on our pickets, and did not 
cease until two or three o'clock, when they were drawn 
in, and not many moments after our picket line was ad- 
vanced, and meeting no opposition, rushed still further on, 
crawled through the abatis, floundered through the ditches, 
and scrambled over the parapets and found the first line 
deserted. General Geary immediately advanced his 
division, occupied the line and pushed on toward the 
city. The second line was found abandoned as well, 
and General Geary, at the head of a small body of men, 
hurried on." 

On the following morning, December 21st, the Savan- 
nah Republican, which two days before emulated the de- 
parted commander in the language of defiance — hurling the 
anathemas of southern chivalry upon the " Yankees" — 
came out with an earnest appeal to the citizens, counsel- 
ling quiet and decorum, and the use of all proper means 
to secure the " respect of a magnanimous foe" What a 
strange revolution in tactics — a marvellous light streamed 
into the city and the editor's " sanctum " along the cause- 
way from the wake of the fugitive " Greybacks." Before 
General Geary " had entered the city, Mayor Arnold, of 
the city, with four or five of the commonalty, rode up 
and surrendered the city to him unconditionally, and 
expressed a trust in the magnanimity of an honorable 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 307 

foe for the safety of the lives and property of the in- 
habitants. General Geary accepted the surrender un- 
conditionally, and assured them that their lives and 
property should be protected. He then entered the 
city, despatching Captain Veale of his staff, with four 
hundred men, to take possession of Fort Jackson ; and 
also another member of his staff to General Slocum, to 
inform him of his occupation of the town. The officer 
who bore this message had some difficulty in convincing 
our soldiers that Geary's division was in town. They said 
to him, ' You can't come that, Johnnie Reb. The game 
is an old one and will not work.' Finally he assured 
them sufficiently to gain a passage, and delivered his 
despatch to General Slocum, commanding the left wing 
of the army. At eight o'clock all the enemy's works 
were in our possession. Captain Veale, with his party, 
took possession of Fort Jackson and Fort Barlow, taking 
about sixty heavy guns in both works and lines connect- 
ing with them. The enemy had fired the barracks, but 
the fire was soon subdued." 

In the haste of his departure Hardee strangely 
neglected to destroy the ammunition of the forts, and 
the cotton in the city. Only a portion of the guns 
left behind were spiked. Munitions of .war, more than 
30,000 bales of cotton, and railroad rolling stock, fell into 
our hands. 

" General Sherman's entry into the town was marked 



308 LIFE OF GENERAL SIIEEMAIT. 

by no extraordinary commotion. The city received him 
quietly and respectfully, though not with open arms. 

" The population of Savannah, during the past thirty 
days, has been immensely increased by emigration from 
the interior. Thousands of people, including many 
wealthy families, fled from the country threatened by 
General Sherman's march, to find, as they presumed, an 
undisturbed refuge in the city. The houses overflow with 
them ; numbers dwell in sheds, and live upon the streets. 
Negroes form a large part of this transient population. 
Many rebel officers and soldiers are found concealed in 
houses, and probably considerable valuable property, not 
yet estimated in the fruits of this almost bloodless siege, 
will yet be brought to light likewise. 

" A number of prisoners, which may be counted in 
addition to those found in the city," were previously cap- 
tured during our advance against the enemy's works. 
Colonel Clinch, of General Hardee's staff, with thirty 
men, was taken on board a transport in the Savannah 
River a few days before the surrender. A quantity of 
whiskey was aboard the transport, and when our officers 
reached it, every man on board, except Colonel Clinch, 
was found in a state of beastly intoxication. General 
Harrison, a militia general, and a man of considerable 
wealth, residing near the city, was also taken prisoner 
during the siege." 

While the sun of December 21st was moving toward 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 309 

tlie zenith, General Sherman rode at the head of his en- 
thusiastic columns, with music and banners enlivening the 
magnificent scene, into the broad, quiet streets of Savan- 
nah, followed by his wing-commanders, the gallant How 
ard and Slocum. Hour after hour the tramp of Union 
soldiers echoes on the pavements, until at length, in man- 
sions, public buildings, and tents, the exultant host settled 
down into comparative repose. The next day the wires 
of the telegraph transmitted to the President this laconic 
message : 

"Savannah, Ga., December 22, 1864. 
" His Excellency President Lincoln ; 

" I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of 
Savannah, with one hundred and fifty heavy guns and 
plenty of ammunition, and also about twenty-five thousand 
bales of cotton. "W. T. Sherman, Major-General." 

In all the world's history of the Christmas times, was 
there ever a gift so memorable, or one more worthy to 
receive it ? You will always recollect it with the delight 
expressed by a playful pen : " The sugar plum which 
Sherman dropped into the national stocking that Abraham 
Lincoln hung up, came in the semblance of Savannah. 
"We have all enjoyed it. We have admired its roundness 
and its sweetness. We rejoice over the one hundred and 
fifty heavy guns, and the thirty-three thousand bales of 
cotton. The capture of Savannah is an event which we 



310 LIFE OF GENEKAL SHEEMAN. 

have long anticipated, and are therefore only quietly en- 
joying it. Reaching us, as the intelligence did, on a day 
that was meteorologically gloomy, it shed an interior sun- 
light brighter than a more substantial one." 

The quartermaster, in General Sherman's behalf, a 
little later announced, that " all persons wishing to leave 
the city under existing orders, and go within the Confed- 
erate lines, are informed that the steamer F. R. Spalding 
will be in readiness at the wharf at the foot of Drayton 
Street, at six o'clock A. m. on Wednesday, the 11th in- 
stant, to transport them to Charleston, S. C. Wagons 
and ambulances will be sent to the residences of families, 
to take them and their baggage to the boat. As there are 
no conveniences on the boat to provide food, each family 
had better provide itself with what it will require for 
twenty-four hours. 

" Applications for wagons and ambulances must be 
made to Captain J. E. Remington, assistant quartermas- 
ter, last house on the west end of Jones Street, south side." 

About two hundred citizens availed themselves of the 
opportunity thus offered them to rejoin their relatives or 
friends within the enemy's lines. The new paper, the 
Loyal Georgian, thus hoisted its flag, with the notices fol- 
lowing : "The mind that conceived, and the arm that, 
under Omnipotence, could execute these grand army 
movements, has not yet finished its work. That same 
powerful body which with its gigantic wings swept over the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEE^IAN. 311 

State of Georgia as a whirlwind, must vet move on its 
irresistible course until the whole land shall acknowledge 
the power and authority of the Government of the United 
States. When that day comes, the commander will lay 
aside his laurels, the soldier his sword, and this broad 
and fair abounding land of ours shall once more teem 
with the busy hum of peaceful life. May a merciful God 
grant the happy day soon to be ushered in upon us, and 
peace, sweet peace ! be our portion ; but until the ' last 
armed foe expires,' the army of the Union will and must 
stand as a bulwark against all destroyers, come from 
where they may. 

" General Sherman has his headquarters at the house 
of Mr. Charles Green. General Howard's headquarters 
are at the house of Mr. Molyneux, late British consul at 
Savannah, who is now in Europe. General Slocum's 
headquarters are at the late residence of Hon. John E. 
Ward. General Geary, commandant of the post, has his 
office in the Bank building, next door to the Custom 
House. 

" Divine service will be held in the Independent Pres- 
byterian, the Lutheran, Baptist, St. John's Church, and 
Methodist Churches, to-morrow morning at half-past ten 
o'clock, by their respective pastors. 

" I. S. K. Axson, D. M. Gilbert, 
" S. Landeum, A. M. Wynn, 

" C. F. McRae." 



312 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

The condition of the city under the new rule was very 
clearly given by rebel papers. January 10th, the Rich- 
mond Whig, whose hatred of the North has been unsur- 
passed, was compelled to confess that General Sherman 
was wise and humane in his administration, as an ex- 
tract will show : 

" The Augusta Chronicle and Sentinel of the 4th in- 
stant publishes a number of news items, derived from a 
gentleman who left Savannah on the 1st instant. 

" The most perfect order is maintained in the city. 
No soldier is allowed to interfere with the citizens in any 
particular. A citizen was arrested by a drunken soldier 
a few days since. The citizen knocked the soldier down. 
The officer of the guard, as soon as he arrived, said 
nothing to the citizen, but had the soldier taken to the bar- 
racks, gagged and soundly whipped for his misbehavior. 

" A drunken soldier, who undertook to create a dis- 
turbance recently, and who refused to allow himself to be 
arrested, was shot down at once by the guard. 

" One or two of the Insurance Companies of Savannah 
are considering the project of establishing a National Bank 
for the issue of ' greenbacks/ 

" The Custom House and Post Office are being cleaned 
and repaired, preparatory to the commencement of busi- 
ness again. 

" The soldiers are not allowed under any circumstances 
whatever to enter private residences. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN". 313 

" The negroes in most cases are orderly and quiet, re- 
maining with their owners and performing their custom- 
ary duties. 

" One store with goods from the North has already 
been opened. 

" Nothing but ' greenbacks ' are in circulation. 

" The churches on Sundays are well filled with ladies. 
On week days, however, but few of them are seen on the 
streets. 

" A majority of the male population have remained 
in the city. The families of most of the men who have 
left still remain. 

" A majority of the citizens have provisions for some 
time to come, but there is a scarcity of wood, but General 
Sherman has announced that he will soon remedy this last 
difficulty by getting wood via the Gulf Eailway, and haul- 
ing it to the citizens. 

" No pass is allowed to any male person to go toward 
the city. 

" All females who are caught going toward the city 
are thoroughly searched. 

" Eleven hundred loaves of good baker's bread, which 
had been collected for the soldiers of Sherman's army, 
but for which authorized agents did not call, were on 
Thursday turned over to the Poor Association of Savan- 
nah by the Committee acting in behalf of the Soldier's 
Dinner, and were yesterday distributed to the poor of the 



314 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 

city. It was truly a kind and providential gift, for the 
city is entirely out of breadstuffs of every kind, and for 
days past have been unable to issue a pound of meal or 
flour to the hundreds who were sorely in need of it." 

General Sherman had a very summary way of an- 
swering inquiries of the citizens on whose lips was the gall 
of secession. To a proud lady who said to him : " Gen- 
eral, you may conquer, but you can't subjugate us," he 
instantly replied, " I don't want to subjugate you, I mean 
to kill you, the whole of you, if you don't stop this rebel- 
lion." In conversation a short time since with several 
citizens of Savannah on the subject of the war, General 
Sherman, in his characteristic manner, remarked : " We 
wish to cultivate friendly feeling with your people ; if they 
love monarchy we will not quarrel with them ; but we 
love a strong republic and mean to maintain it." He 
also said he had been through Mississippi twice and 
through Georgia once. The sun goes North on the 
21st, and by that time I shall be ready to go North, too." 
In a private letter to a distinguished military man in 
New York, his noble and magnanimous spirit appears : 

" Colonel Ewing arrived to-day, and bore me many 
kind tokens from the North, but none gave me more 
satisfaction than to know that you watched with interest 
my efforts in the national cause. I do not think a human 
being could feel more kindly toward an enemy than I do 
to the people of the South, and I only pray that I may 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 315 

live to see tlie day when they and their children will 
thank me, as one who labored to secure and maintain a 
Government worthy the land we have inherited, and 
strong enough to secure our children the peace and secu- 
rity denied us. 

" Judging from the press, the world magnifies my 
deeds above their true value, and I fear the future may 
not realize its judgment. But whatever fate may befall 
me, I know that you will be a generous and charitable 
critic, and will encourage one who only hopes in this 
struggle to do a man's share." 

Two days later a gentleman addressed a note to Gen- 
eral Sherman, asking questions designed to draw from 
him his views upon the prospects of Georgia, and her 
relations to the General Government. His reply is mark- 
ed with his original thought, and reveals his high ability 
as a statesman : 



" Headquarters Military Division of the Mississippi, 
In the Field, Savannah, Ga., Jan. 8, 1865. 






sippi, ) 
5. S 
"JjT W , Esq., County, Ga. : 

"Dear Sir: Yours of the 3d instant is received, 
and in answer to your inquiries, I beg to state I am 
merely a military commander, and act only in that capa- 
city ; nor can I give any assurances or pledges affecting 
civil matters in the future. They will be adjusted by Con- 
gress when Georgia is again represented there as of old. 

" Georgia is not out of the Union, and therefore the 



316 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

talk of ' reconstruction ' appears to me inappropriate. 
Some of the people have been and still are in a state of 
revolt ; and as long as they remain armed . and organ- 
ized, the United States must pursue them with armies, 
and deal with them according to military law. But as 
soon as they break up their armed organizations and re- 
turn to their homes, I take it they will be dealt with by 
the civil courts. Some of the rebels in Georgia, in my 
judgment, deserve death, because they have committed 
murder, and other crimes, which are punished with death 
by all civilized governments on earth. I think this was 
the course indicated by General Washington, in refer- 
ence to the Whiskey Insurrection, and a like principle 
seemed to be recognized at the time of the Burr con- 
spiracy. 

"As to the Union of the States under our Govern- 
ment, we have the high authority of General Washington, 
who bade us be jealous and careful of it, and the still 
more emphatic words of General Jackson, ' The Federal 
Union, it must and shall be preserved/ Certainly Geor- 
gians cannot question the authority of such men, and 
should not suspect our motives, who are simply fulfilling 
their commands. Wherever necessary, force has been 
used to carry out that end ; and you may rest assured 
that the Union will be preserved, cost what it may. 
And if you are sensible men you will conform to this 
order of things or else migrate to some other country. 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 317 

There is no other alternative open to the people of 
Georgia. 

" My opinion is, that no negotiations are necessary, 
nor commissioners, nor conventions, nor any thing of the 
kind. Whenever the people of Georgia quit rebelling 
against their Government and elect members of Congress 
and Senators, and these go and take their seats, then the 
State of Georgia will have resumed her functions in the 
Union. 

" These are merely my opinions, but in confirmation 
of them, as I think, the people of Georgia may well con- 
sider the following words referring to the people of the 
rebellious States, which I quote from the recent annual 
message of President Lincoln to Congress at its present 
session ; 

" ' They can at any moment have peace simply by 
laying down their arms and submitting to the national 
authority under the Constitution. After so much, the 
Government would not, if it could, maintain war against 
them. The loyal people would not sustain or allow it. 
If questions should remain we would adjust them by the 
peaceful means of legislation, conference, courts, and 
votes. Operating only in constitutional and lawful chan- 
nels, some certain and other possible questions are and 
would be beyond the Executive power to adjust, as, for 
instance, the admission of members into Congress and 
whatever might require the appropriation of money.' 



318 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

" The President then alludes to the general pardon 
and amnesty offered for more than a year past, upon 
specified and more liberal terms, to all except certain 
designated classes, even these being ' still within contem- 
plation of special clemency/ and adds : 

" ' It is still so open to all, but the time may come 
when public duty shall demand that it be closed, and that 
in lieu more vigorous measures than heretofore shall be 
adopted.' 

" It seems to me that it is time for the people of 
Georgia to act for themselves, and return, in time, to 
their duty to the Government of their fathers. 

"Respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" W. T. Sherman, Major-General." 

Bearing the same date of this able letter, are his 
words of congratulation to his rejoicing army : 

"In the Field, Savannah, Ga., Jan. 8. 

" The General Commanding announces to the troops 
composing the military division of the Mississippi, that he 
has received from the President of the United States and 
from Lieutenant-General Grant, letters conveying the 
high sense and appreciation of the campaign just closed, 
resulting in the capture of Savannah and the defeat of 
Hood's army in Tennessee. 

" In order that all may understand the importance 
of events, it is proper to revert to the situation of affairs in 






LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN". 319 

September last. We held Atlanta, a city of little value 
to us, but so important to the enemy that Mr. Davis, the 
head of the rebellious faction in the South, visited his 
army near Palmetto, and commanded it to regain it, as 
well as to ruin and destroy us by a series of measures 
which he thought would be effectual. 

" That army, by a rapid march, first gained our rail- 
road near Big Shanty, and afterward about Dalton. "We 
pursued, but it marched so rapidly that we could not 
overtake it, and General Hood led his army successfully 
far toward Mississippi, in hopes to decoy us out of Geor- 
gia. But we were not then to be led away by him, and 
purposed to control and lead events ourselves. Generals 
Thomas and Schofield, commanding the department to 
our rear, returned to their posts, and prepared to decoy 
General Hood into their meshes, while we came on to 
complete our original journey. 

" We quietly and deliberately destroyed Atlanta and 
all the railroads which the enemy had used to carry on 
war against us ; occupied his State capital, and then 
captured his commercial capital, which had been so 
strongly fortified from the sea as to defy approach from 
that quarter. 

" Almost at the moment of our victorious entry into 
Savannah came the welcome and expected news that our 
comrades in Tennessee had also fulfilled, nobly and well, 
their part ; had decoyed General Hood to Nashville, and 



320 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

then turned on him, defeating his army thoroughly, cap- 
turing all his artillery, great numbers of prisoners, and 
were still pursuing the fragments down into Alabama. 
So complete a success in military operations, extending 
over half a continent, is an achievement that entitles it to 
a place in the military history of the world. 

" The armies serving in Georgia and Tennessee, as 
well as the local garrisons of Decatur, Bridgeport, Chat- 
tanooga, and Murfreesborough, are alike entitled to the 
common honor, and each regiment may inscribe on its 
colors at pleasure the words ' Savannah/ or { Nashville/ 

" The General Commanding embraces in the same 
general success the operations of the cavalry column 
under Generals Stoneman, Burbridge, and Gillem, that 
penetrated into Southwestern Virginia, and paralyzed the 
efforts of the enemy to disturb the peace and safety of the 
people of East Tennessee. Instead of being put on the 
defensive, we have, at all points, assumed the bold offen- 
sive, and completely thwarted the designs of the enemies 
of our country. By order of 

" Major-General W. T. Sherman." 

This was followed on the 14th by a message regu- 
lating the trade and social life of the people : 

" In the Field, Savannah, Ga., Jan. 14. 
" It being represented that the Confederate army and 
armed bands of robbers, acting professedly under the 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 321 

authority of the Confederate government, are harassing 
the people of G eorgia and endeavoring to intimidate them 
in the efforts they are making to secure to themselves 
provisions, clothing, security to life and property, and the 
restoration of law and good government in the State, it is 
hereby ordered and made public : 

" I. That the farmers of Georgia may bring into 
Savannah, Fernandina, or Jacksonville, Fla., marketing, 
such as beef, pork, mutton, vegetables of any kinds, fish, 
&c, as well as cotton in small quantities, and sell the 
same in open market, except the cotton, which must be 
sold by or through the Treasury agents, and may invest 
the proceeds in family stores, such as bacon and flour, in 
any reasonable quantities, groceries, shoes, and cloth- 
ing, and articles not contraband of war, and carry the 
same back to their families. No trade-store will be at- 
tempted in the interior, or stocks of goods sold for them, 
but families may club together for mutual assistance and 
protection in coming and going. 

" II. The people are encouraged to meet together in 
peaceful assemblages to discuss measures looking to their 
safety and good government, and the restoration of State 
and national authority, and will be protected by the na- 
tional army when so doing ; and all peaceable inhabitants 
who satisfy the commanding officers that they are earn- 
estly laboring to that end, must not only be left undis- 
turbed in property and person, but must be protected as 
21 



322 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

far as possible consistent with the military operations. 
If any farmer or peaceful inhabitant is molested by the 
enemy, viz., the Confederate army of guerillas, because 
of his friendship to the National Government, the perpe* 
trator, if caught, will be summarily punished, or his 
family made to suffer for the outrage ; but if the crime 
cannot be traced to the actual party, then retaliation 
will be made on the adherents to the cause of the rebel- 
lion. Should a Union man be murdered, then a rebel 
selected by lot will be shot ; or if a Union family be per- 
secuted on account of the cause, a rebel family will be 
banished to a foreign land. In aggravated cases, retalia- 
tion will extend as high as five for one. All commanding 
officers will act promptly in such cases, and report their 
action after the retaliation is done. By order of 

" Major-General W. T. Sherman." 

We have now a very remarkable interview be- 
tween a delegation of the negro population, including 
twenty men, nearly all of whom were preachers, and 
Secretary Stanton and General Sherman. There were 
members of the parishes whose pastors were present, 
worth from $3,000 to $30,000. Rev. Garrison Frazier, 
sixty-seven years of age, was the speaker. The answers 
to various questions touching slavery, the war, and the 
ability of the negroes to take care of themselves, were 
promptly and intelligently answered. After General 



LIFE OF GENEBAX SHERMAN. 323 

Sherman had left the room, an inquiry touching their 

opinion of General Sherman was made. Trith the follow- 
ing reply : 

*■ TTe looked upon General Sherman prior to his 
arrival as a man in the Providence of God specially 
set apart to accomplish this work, and we unanimously 
feel inexpressible gratitude to him. looking upon him as 
a man that should be honored for the faithful perform- 
ance of his duty. Some of us called on him immediately 
upon his arrival, and it is probable he would not meet 
the Secretary vrith more courtesy than he met us. His 
conduct and deportment toward us characterized him as 
a friend and a gentleman. TTe have confidence in Gen- 
eral Sherman, and think whatever concerns us could not 
be under better management.'"' 

The conference was followed by the following order : 

•• EzAPQr asters Military Drv. of the Miss . [ 

Eh the Fizu?. Sava^ah, Ga., Jan. 16, 1865. ) 

*• I. The islands from Charleston, south, the aban- 
doned rice-fields along the river for thirty miles lack 
from the sea. and the country bordering the St. John 
River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settle- 
ment of the negroes now made free by the acts of war 
and the President of the United States. 

•• II. At Beaufort, Hilton Head. Savannah. Fernan- 
dina. St. Augustine, and Jacksonville, the blacks may 
remain in their chosen or accustomed avocations : but on 



324 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

the islands, and in the settlements hereafter to be estab- 
lished, no white person whatever, unless military officers 
and soldiers detailed for duty, will be permitted to reside ; 
and the sole and exclusive management of affairs will be 
left to the freed people themselves, subject only to the 
United States military authority and the acts of Congress. 
By the laws of war, and orders of the President of the 
United States, the negro is free, and must be dealt with 
as such. He cannot be subjected to conscription or 
forced military service, save by the written orders of the 
highest military authority of the department, under such 
regulations as the President or Congress may prescribe. 
Domestic servants, blacksmiths, carpenters, and other 
mechanics, will be free to select their own work and 
residence ; but the young and able-bodied negroes must 
be encouraged to enlist as soldiers in the service of the 
United States, to contribute their share toward main- 
taining their own freedom, and securing their rights as 
citizens of the United States. Negroes so enlisted will 
be organized into companies, battalions, and regiments, 
under the orders of the United States military authorities, 
and will be paid, fed, and clothed according to law. The 
bounties paid on enlistment may, with the consent of the 
recruit, go to assist his family and settlement in pro- 
curing agricultural implements, seed, tools, boats, cloth- 
ing, and other articles necessary for their livelihood. 
" III. Whenever three respectable negroes, heads of 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 325 

families, shall desire to settle on land, and shall have 
selected for that purpose an island or a locality clearly 
denned within the limits above designated, the Inspector 
of Settlements and Plantations will himself, or by such 
subordinate officer as he may appoint, give them a license 
to settle such island or district, and afford them such as- 
sistance as he can to enable them to establish a peaceable 
agricultural settlement. The three parties named will 
subdivide the land, under the supervision of the inspec- 
tor, among themselves and such others as may choose to 
settle near them, so that each family shall have a plot of 
not more than forty acres of tillable ground, and, when 
it borders on some water channel, with not more than 
eight hundred feet front, in the possession of which land 
the military authorities will afford them protection until 
such time as they can protect themselves, or until Con- 
gress shall regulate their title. The quartermaster may, 
on the requisition of the Inspector of Settlements and 
Plantations, place at the disposal of the inspector one or 
more of the captured steamers to ply between the settle- 
ments and one or more of the commercial points hereto- 
fore named in orders, to afford the settlers the oppor- 
tunity to supply their necessary wants, and to sell the 
products of their land and labor. 

" IV. When a negro has enlisted in the military ser- 
vice of the United States, he may locate his family in any 
of the settlements at pleasure, and acquire a homestead 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

and all other rights and privileges of a settler as though 
present in person. In like manner negroes may settle 
their families, and engage on board the gunboats, or in 
fishing, or in the navigation of the inland waters, without 
losing any claim to land or other advantages derived from 
this system. But no one, except an actual settler as above 
defined, or unless absent on government services, will be 
entitled to claim any right to land or property in any set- 
tlement by virtue of these orders. 

" V. In order to carry out this system of settle- 
ment, a general officer will be detailed as Inspector of 
Settlements and Plantations, whose duty it shall be to 
visit the settlements, to regulate their police and general 
management, and who will furnish personally to each 
head of a family, subject to the approval of the Presi- 
dent of the United States, a possessory title in writ- 
ing, giving as near as possible the description of bounda- 
ries, and who may adjust all claims or conflicts that may 
arise under the same, subject to the like approval, treat- 
ing such titles as altogether possessory. The same gen- 
eral officer will also be charged with the enlistment and 
organization of the negro recruits, and protecting their 
interests while so absent from their settlements, and will 
be governed by the rules and regulations prescribed by 
the War Department for such purpose. 

" VI. Brigadier-General R. Saxton is hereby ap- 
pointed Inspector of Settlements and Plantations, and 



LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 327 

will at once enter on the performance of his duties. No 
change is intended or desired in the settlement now on 
Beaufort Island, nor will any rights to property hereto- 
fore acquired be affected thereby. 

" By order of Major-Gen. W. T. Sherman." 

This was a kind and honorable provision — giving the 
unfortunate race just the opportunity which was desired 
of self-culture and progress. They do not desire to come 
north and mix with the white population, but own them- 
selves, and have a fair opportunity for improvement. 

An " Educational Association " followed, to establish 
schools for the freedmen, which should be taught by those 
of their own people already possessed of some learning. 
All were invited to join it by paying three dollars. The first 
evening the number of members swelled the fund to more 
than seven hundred dollars. Then five hundred children 
were gathered together to be formed into schools. Rev. 
J. W. Alvord was a leading philanthropist in the work. 
They were divided into ten schools, of fifty scholars, and, 
with a teacher at the head of each, marched in a proces- 
sion two by two through the city — a strange spectacle 
indeed to all beholders ! " The procession marched on 
till they came to the old Slave-market — a large building, 
three stories high. General Geary, who now commands 
the city, said they might have this for a school-house. So 
they took possession of it, placing the children along the 



328 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

very platforms where the old slave-traders used to set men 
and women to be examined for sale. The fathers and 
mothers of the children looked on in wonder to think 
what a change had taken place ; while many wept joyful 
tears, and shouted praises to God who had done such great 
things for them." 

But oh, the sad want and suffering of the masses in 
the conquered city ! All that could be done by General 
Sherman to alleviate the famine, was promptly offered. 

The mayor and a few of the citizens had not only a 
formal meeting to express loyalty to the Stars and Stripes, 
so long dishonored there, but asked for an exchange 
of rice for other articles of food. For this purpose a 
vessel was sent by permission of the commander-in-chief 
to New York. That city, Boston, and Philadelphia, im- 
mediately took measures to forward supplies. The ac- 
companying message of the mayor of Boston was a fraternal 
and excellent tender of former friendship and a renewal 
of old associations. When, on January 19th, the steam- 
ship Rebecca Clyde lay at the wharf with her large cargo 
of provisions, the mayor thanked the people of the North 
for their generosity, and complimented very warmly the 
" wise and impartial administration " of General Geary. 
He said : " He has restored order out of chaos, and 
made the people of Savannah feel that the Northern army 
has not come among them to ruin or pillage them. Lifa 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 329 

and property have been as safe during the Federal occupa- 
tion as it ever had been under civil rule." 

Captain Yeale, of General Geary's staff, replied, as- 
suring the mayor that the " Federal officers and soldiers 
had always treated the people of the South with kindness 
and forbearance, and hoped that they would soon again join 
in one bond of brotherhood for the preservation and welfare 
of our common country. He also thanked the mayor for 
his high eulogium on General Geary, and assured him that 
the general's object was to promote the welfare of Savan- 
nah and make her citizens feel that the Northern army 
was not inimical to the South." 

Savannah in the old Revolutionary days extended her 
hand in time of trouble to Massachusetts, whose sons re- 
pay the debt of gratitude with unfeigned delight. 

Such were the events and scenes attending the return 
of the old flag to its place in Savannah, never again to 
be trailed in the dust by traitorous hands. 



CHAPTER XXIV. 

Major-General Sherman appreciated at Home— A Conflagration— A New and 
Bolder Campaign — An amusing Letter from a Kebel— General Sherman 
begins his March — Perils and Progress— Branchville and Columbia— Charles- 
ton. 

ITH the advent of the New Year, the friends 
of General Sherman in his native State in- 
augurated a movement to secure a fitting testi- 
monial of their appreciation of his brilliant 
achievements. A public meeting was called 
at Columbus, Ohio, at which Governor Brough presided, 
and made the subjoined remarks : " General Sherman 
has been identified with our army from the commence- 
ment of the contest. Able and discreet — daring, yet 
prudent — ever active and energetic— he has led his forces 
with almost universal success. He has been in earnest 
from the beginning ; and if his life is spared, will so con- 
tinue to the end. Sharing the privations and dangers of 
his army, and, ever consulting and promoting the comfort 
and safety of his men, he has acquired their unlimited 




LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. " 331 

respect and confidence. His State should hold him in 
honor, and the nation owes him a debt of gratitude. 

" While Ohio should not boast, she should not allow 
her modesty to make her entirely oblivious to the merits 
and greatness of her sons. While other States are pro- 
viding solid testimonials for men who have perilled their 
lives and fortunes, and distinguished themselves in the 
cause of the country, we should not hesitate in similar 
acts of appreciation and gratitude toward one of our own 
citizens who has stood in the foremost rank in all this 
contest. On the contrary, we should come to it in the 
spirit of zeal and enthusiasm. This movement has been 
inaugurated by the people of the city where General 
Sherman was born — its originators are gentlemen of high 
character and integrity — and our people should cordially 
meet it with the determination that it shall be promptly 
and fully successful, and the testimonial be at once worthy 
of all the State, and its noble, patriotic, and distinguished 
citizen." 

Lieutenant-General Grant sent the following expres- 
sive note to the committee having the tribute of grateful 
affection in charge : 

" Dear Sirs : I have just this moment received your 
printed letter in relation to your proposed movement in 
acknowledgment of one of Ohio's greatest sons. I wrote 
only yesterday to my father, who resides in Covington, 
Ky., on the same subject, and asked him to inaugurate a 



332 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

subscription to present Mrs. Sherman with a house in the 
city of Cincinnati. General Sherman is eminently en- 
titled to this mark of consideration, and I directed my 
father to head the subscription with five hundred dollai s 
for me, and half that amount from General Ingalls, chief 
quartermaster of this army, who is equally alive with 
myself to the eminent services of General Sherman. 

"Whatever direction this enterprise in favor of Gen- 
eral Sherman may take, you may set me down for the 
amount named. I cannot say a word too highly in praise 
of General Sherman's services from the beginning of the 
rebellion to the present day, and will therefore abstain 
from flattery of him. Suffice it to say, the world's history 
gives no record of his superiors, and but few equals. 

" I am truly glad for the movement you have set on 
foot, and of the opportunity of adding my mite in testi- 
mony of so good and great a man. Yours truly, 

" U. S. Grant, Lieutenant- Gene ral." 

How noble and beautiful such evidence of true great- 
ness, the master minds of the war-field delighting to honor 
each other ! A frightful conflagration in Savannah was 
among the painful incidents of these winter months, 
crowded so full of stirring events. The unresting brain 
and form of General Sherman had scarcely completed the 
new order of things in Savannah, before a still grander 
campaign in some of its aspects, one more perilous and de- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 333 

cisive in its results on the rebellion, was planned, and his 
glad host waiting his word of command to march. Sher- 
man's rule of military action is, not to rest while possible 
motion promises substantial results. Looking away from 
Savannah toward South Carolina, and beyond to Rich- 
mond, his masterly genius formed deliberately the plan 
of advance, which was kept in his own breast. He 
threatened several points at once, so that the enemy could 
not tell whether he would strike first with an avalanche of 
living men, Branchville, Augusta, Columbia, or Charles- 
ton. The " dazzling rapidity" of his movements always 
completely paralyzed the foe. To concentrate after he 
was fairly in motion, and his immediate object discerned, 
in time to successfully stop him, was next to impossible. 
We have had no military leader in this intelligent and 
irresistible celerity of movement that approaches him. 
The Secretary of War announced in the following message 
to Mr. Lincoln, the fact, that the laurelled chieftain was 
again in the war path over a hostile country, with con- 
tinuous swamps and morasses at the very entrance into 
its perils : 

"Fortress Monroe, Tuesday, January Vl — 10 p. m. 
"To the President : 

" General Sherman renewed the movement of his 
forces from Savannah, last week. The Fifteenth and 
Seventeenth Corps went in transports to Beaufort on 
Saturday, the 14th. The Seventeenth Corps, under 



334 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

Major-General Blair, crossed Port Royal Ferry, and, 
with a portion of General Foster's command, moved on 
Pocotaligo. General Howard, commanding that wing of 
the army, reported on Sunday, 15th, that the enemy 
abandoned his strong works in our front during Saturday 
night. General Blair's corps now occupies a strong posi- 
tion across the railroad, covering all approaches eastward 
to Pocotaligo. All the sick of General Sherman's army 
are in good hospitals at Beaufort and Hilton Head, where 
the genial climate affords advantages for recovery superior 
to any other place. The peace and order prevailing at 
Savannah since its occupation by General Sherman, could 
not be surpassed. Few male inhabitants are to be seen 
on the streets. Edwin M. Stanton." 

Refer to a large map, and you will perceive at a 
glance the field of operations before General Sherman. 
About half way from Savannah to Charleston, is Poco- 
taligo, on the direct railroad — an important place, which 
was the object of an expedition soon after Beaufort 
came into our hands. Its capture secured General Sher- 
man's flank from attack in his progress toward Branch- 
ville, a great railway centre, in importance resembling 
Atlanta. His advance lay as it did when he approach- 
ed Savannah, between two rivers, whose borders were 
guarded with swamps. Having carried Pocotaligo Bridge, 
on the 13th of January, whose strong garrison had al- 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 335 

ways successfully repulsed us hitherto, the onward march 
from Beaufort commenced. General Hatch's division 
was already occupying a " position not far from the 
bridge, with their guns turned on the railroad. The 
Seventeenth Corps crossed Port Royal Ferry on a pon- 
toon bridge laid by the Engineer Corps, and marched 
swiftly, but cautiously, to the railroad. The enemy's 
pickets were soon aroused, and attempted some skir- 
mishing, but were pushed off without trouble. On the 
15th, with the Seventeenth Corps on the left, and Hatch's 
troops on the right, after slight resistance, the railroad 
was gained, a little south of the bridge. Our skirmishers 
dashed lightly ahead, encountered the enemy's, who were 
supported with light artillery, swept them off, gained the 
bridge, and a brigade of the Seventeenth charged and 
carried it, together with the earthworks at the further 
end. Several heavy guns, which the enemy had spiked, 
fell into our hands ; one of the earthworks carrying seven, 
and the other five. The great bridge, with the trestle- 
work in the swamp on either side, is fully a mile in 
length. The enemy, finding he must give up the work 
he had so long defended, tried to burn it. But our men 
were too quick for him and saved it. Our loss was only 
about fifty killed and wounded. Lieutenant Chandler, 
of General Blair's staff, was killed while leading a gal- 
lant and victorious charge. 

" The enemy's force consisted of General McLaws's 



336 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

detachment of Hardee's forces ; and were pushed out of 
Pocotaligo, the Seventeenth Corps occupying the railroad 
from the Coosawatchie to the Salkehatchie. So soon as 
this lodgment was effected, Sherman sent the First and 
Third divisions of Geary's Twentieth Corps, of Slocum's 
column, across the Savannah, so as to hold the railroad 
continuously from Savannah to the lines of the Seven- 
teenth Corps. On the 16th, also, the Fifteenth Corps 
embarked at Thunderbolt for Beaufort." 

On the legions swept toward Branchville, more than 
half way to Columbia, the capital of South Carolina, and 
northwest of Charleston. The threatening front of our 
army against Charleston at the same moment, kept occu- 
pied and apart Generals Beauregard and Hardee. Gen- 
eral Kilpatrick hung like a thunder-cloud around Augusta, 
keeping General D. H. Hill with his troops there, while 
General Howard's right wing reached and cut the rail- 
road below Branchville ; General Blair's Seventeenth 
Corps crossed the Salkehatchie, wading waist deep 
through the current, defeating the enemy in the very 
water, and seizing River's Bridge ; and General Slocum 
had gone above Branchville, cutting the railroad there. 
This was during the first week in February. Sunday 
night, the 11th, the enemy finding Branchville hopelessly 
encircled, cutting the paths of communication, fled from 
the town, and the next day our victorious troops, with 
flying banners, entered it. 



LIFE OF GEKEEAL SHEEMAN. 337 

Over streams, into which they plunged with a shout ; 
through morasses, building corduroy roads in swamps, 
destroying railroads for nearly a hundred miles of a 
single line, the brave boys had got within reach of the 
" tempting prize," as the Columbia Guardian called it, 
now seventy miles distant, and a hundred and forty- 
three from Augusta, Georgia. 

That paper began to use quite different speech from 
that addressed a few weeks before to the " gentle war- 
rior." He thus discoursed to the people : " South Caro- 
linians are not to be intimidated by the fulminations of a 
brutal foe, and we are mistaken if South Carolinians 
have forgotten how to treat the insolence of the hireling." 
The same paper said that Columbia would not even be 
approached, because Sherman was bent on Charleston. 
" To believe it is contrary to common sense, contrary to 
a knowledge of Sherman's character and confessed deter- 
mination, and contrary to all military strategy. Pos- 
sibly a raid may be made here for the purpose of crea- 
ting a diversion. It will not find us unprepared. Long 
before Columbia falls, we look for a battle and a victory." 
Sherman, however, having left Branchville, was march- 
ing over the fine, high, fertile region northward, where 
supplies were abundant, and the country roads excellent. 
Already he was aiming at Kingsville, where he would, 
if successful in his object, at one fell swoop destroy the 
Columbia and Charleston Eailroad, and the Wilmington 
22 



338 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN". 

and Manchester Railroad. " That he will succeed in 
doing this, we have doubts — very grave doubts ; for we 
know something of the dangerous operations of an army 
in the hands of Beauregard." In order to dissipate the 
doubts of some skeptical as to which side the operations 
of Beauregard would be dangerous, the same journal 
announced with pleasure the arrival of that chieftain and 
his staff at Nickerson's Hotel in Columbia. 

General Sherman, in a brief time, cleared away the 
painful doubts from the mind of this editor. Taking 
Kingsville, he commenced a skirmishing march on Co- 
lumbia. While the quiet of a pleasant evening was set- 
tling down upon Columbia, a sudden shriek in the air 
startled the inhabitants. The signal shells of approach 
were fired from " Yankee " guns. 

The army then under cover of darkness moved up the 
river, and in the morning forded the Saluda and Broad Riv- 
ers. While the waters were surging around the cheerful 
host, the enemy decided that " prudence was the better part 
of valor," and hastened out of the capital. The female em- 
ployes of the treasury department were hurried off to 
Charlotte, a panic-smitten company of maidens, young 
and old ; lithographic presses for the currency were left 
behind ; and a large amount of medical stores was seized 
by our troops. General Sherman pressed forward toward 
Charlotte after Beauregard, who was completely in the 
fog respecting the goal of his antagonist— whether it was 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 339 

Charlotte, North Carolina, a hundred miles from Colum- 
bia, or Florence, South Carolina, ninety miles away, 
likewise a railroad centre. The map again will shed 
light on the field of this great game of war. The only 
road remaining for escape from Charleston was the 
threatened track to Florence. Meanwhile General 
Gilmore's time to move near the doomed city had 
come. 

February 10th, General Schemmelfinnig threw his 
command of about 3,000 strong across a bridge laid over 
the creek separating Folly and Cole Islands from James 
Island, and fastened with firm foothold upon the latter, 
only three miles from Charleston. The Fifty-fourth New 
York, acting as skirmishers, encountered the enemy a 
mile farther, at Grimball's, on Stono River, up which the 
iron-clads Augusta and Savannah, and the mortar schooner 
Commodore IfcDonough, made their way to protect 
our forces on the flank, shelling the rebels. Toward 
night General Hartwell advanced with his brigade, the 
columns double in front dashing upon the rifle-pits 
with a shout that assured him of victory. The bloody 
struggle was brief. The foe returned to his main works, 
leaving less than a hundred of our troops killed and 
wounded, and their own, with twenty prisoners, in our 
hands. This was the first time these works had been 
taken by our troops. 

General Potter moved toward Bull's Bay to cut the 



340 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHESMA1T. 

railroad north of the city. General Hatch moved across 
the Ashepoo, toward the South Edisto. 

General Hardee, with General Sherman, master of 
Columbia, shutting him on that side, had been watch- 
ing with eagle eye the manoeuvres of General Potter, 
endangering his last highway from the city, and resolved 
upon flight. Friday, February 17th, his preparations for it 
began. In the night the garrisons of Sullivan's Island 
and Point Pleasant withdrew, just in time to escape Gen- 
eral Potter's advance on the road by Christ's Church. For 
the movements of Hardee had been discovered by General 
Schemmelfinnig's watchful scouts and signal officers, and 
he barely slipped from the grasp of his antagonist. The 
troops in the city marched out by the Northeastern Kail- 
road on Saturday. Wrote Mr. O. G. Sawyer from the 
gates of the city : 

" Shortly after daylight it was discovered that there 
were no troops in and about Sumter, or Moultrie, or in 
the works on James Island. Lieutenant Colonel Bennett, 
of the Twenty-first United States colored troops, com- 
manding Morris Island, immediately despatched Major 
Hennessy, of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania Volunteers, 
to Fort Sumter, in a small boat, to ascertain whether the 
fort was evacuated. Major Hennessy proceeded to Sum- 
ter, and soon waved the old Stars and Stripes over the 
battered battlements of the work, from which they had 
been torn down in April, 1861. The sight of the old flag 



LIFE OF GENEKAL SHERMAN. 34:1 

t 

on Sumter was an assurance that the enemy had evacu- 
ated all their works, and it was hailed by every demon- 
stration of joy by all, on ship and on shore. Another 
boat in charge of Lieutenant Hackett of the Third Rhode 
Island artillery, was immediately sent to Fort Moultrie 
to take possession of that work, and raise again the na- 
tional colors upon its parapet. The navy, anxious to 
share in the honors of the day, also launched a boat, and 
strove to gain the beach of Sullivan's Island before the 
army, and an exciting race ensued between the boats of 
the different branches of the service. Each boat's crew 
were urged on to the utmost by their respective com- 
manders, and every nerve and muscle was strained to pull 
the boats to their utmost speed. It was a friendly but 
earnest trial of endurance and skill. Every man felt that 
the credit and honor of the service rested on himself, and 
redoubled his exertions to attain success. The race was 
a close one, the boats being evenly matched ; and when 
one forged a little ahead it was recognized by the cheers 
of its friends, who watched with intense interest the pro- 
gress of the contest. 

" Finally, after a hard pull and as fast a race as 
Charleston harbor ever witnessed, the army boat, under 
Lieutenant Hackett, reached the shore in advance. As 
she touched the officer and crew sprang out on the beach, 
through the surf, and rushed for the goal. The parapet 
was soon gained and the flag given to the breeze, amid 



34:2 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

the cheers of the soldiers and sailors, who had come up a 
moment or two behind him. The fort was found com- 
pletely evacuated, as were all the works on the island. 
The guns were all spiked and some of the carriages 
somewhat damaged. A large quantity of munitions was 
found in the magazines, which the enemy had not found 
time to destroy. 

" When the flag floated over Moultrie, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Bennett, Major Hennessy, and Lieutenant Burr, 
of the Fifty-second Pennsylvania, started out for the city, 
leaving orders to have troops follow. They pulled up 
the bay, while the rebel iron-clads and vessels were in 
flames, and the city itself was burning at various points. 
Reaching Fort Ripley, or what is known as the Middle 
Ground battery, the flag was displayed over the work, 
and waved for a few moments. The party then pushed 
on to Castle Pinckney, when the same ceremony of taking 
possession was observed, and then the boat was pulled 
cautiously, but directly, toward the city. No hostile 
force was observed, but a large number of negroes arid 
some whites were congregated on the docks, watching 
the approach of the ' Yankee boat.' Colonel Bennett 
immediately landed, and ' Old Glory ' was displayed again 
in the city of Charleston, amid the cheers and cries of 
joy of the crowd assembled about it. It was a perfect 
storm of applause, and outbursts of unfeigned joy and satis- 
faction. The negroes, with all their impulsiveness, were 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 343 

equalled by the whites in their exhibition of satisfaction 
and pleasure at the great event. They seized the hands 
of the officers and men, and wept with excess of exulta- 
tion and delight. Such a scene was never dreamed of 
by the most enthusiastic believer in the loyalty of a cer- 
tain portion of the citizens of Charleston. It took all our 
men by surprise. 

" On landing it was not deemed advisable by Col. Ben- 
nett to advance into the city, as he was informed that a 
rebel brigade was still at the depot, taking the cars, and 
that a force of cavalry was scouring the city and im- 
pressing men into the ranks and driving the negroes be- 
fore them. As he had but nine men with him he con- 
fined himself merely to sending to Mayor Macbeth the 
following peremptory demand for the surrender of the 
city: 

" ' Headquarters United States Forces, ) 
Charleston, S. C. Feb. 18, 1865. \ 

" ' Mayor Charles Macbeth, Charleston : 

" ' Mayor : In the name of the United States Govern- 
ment, I demand the surrender of the city of which you 
are the executive officer. 

" ' Until further orders all citizens will remain within 
their houses. 

'"I ha^e the honor to be, Mayor. 

" ' Very respectfully, your obed't serv't, 
"'A. Gr. Bennett, 
" 'Lieut.-Col. Commanding U. S. Forces, Charleston.' 



344 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

" To this demand Colonel Bennett was subsequently 
handed, by a committee from the mayor, consisting of 
Alderman Gilland and Williams, a letter which he was 
about to despatch to Morris Island : 

" ' To the General Commanding U. S. Army at Morris Island : 

" ' Sir : The military authorities of the Confederate 
States have evacuated this city. I have remained to 
enforce law and preserve order until you take such steps 
as you may think best. 

u i y ei y respectfully, your obedient servant, 

" ' Charles Macbeth, Mayor.' 

" After a brief interview, in which the aldermen inform- 
ed Col. Bennett that the city had been fired by the rebels 
in various places, and that the town was threatened by a 
total destruction, as the firemen were all secreted, in con- 
sequence of the operations of the rebel cavalry, who were 
impressing them and driving them from the town when- 
ever found ; and they desired protection from the rebels, 
in order that the firemen might perform their duty with- 
out fear of being seized. To this application Colonel 
Bennett returned to the Mayor the following communica- 
tion : 



I 

>r 
acknowledge the receipt of your communication of this date 



" ' Headquarters U. S. Forces, Charleston Harbor, 
near Atlantic Wharf, Feb. 18, 1865. 

" i Mayor Charles Macbeth : I have the honor to 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 345 

" ' I have in reply thereto to state that the troops un- 
der my command will render every possible assistance to 
your well-disposed citizens in extinguishing the fires now 
burning. I have the honor to be, Mayor, very respect 
fully, &c. A. Gr. Bennett, 

" ' Lieut.-Col. commanding U. S, forces, Charleston/ 

" Alderman Williams, who happened to be mounted 
on a fine horse, rode back to the Mayor to deliver the 
communication. He had not proceeded more than a 
block or two when he came upon fifty rebel cavalry, who 
were watching affairs. They instantly halted the peace 
commissioner, and blandly observed that they thought 
they should be compelled to dismount him, as they were 
under the impression that they would take the horse in 
the country. He reflected an instant, and then observed, 
in a careless way, that perhaps the Yankees, who had just 
landed five hundred strong, might object, and he would 
think of the matter. The announcement of the arrival 
of five hundred Yankees was quite enough for the bold 
troopers. Without taking his horse or further palaver, 
they wheeled, and rode wildly up Meeting Street, an- 
nouncing the approach of the Yankees to all stragglers, 
and there was instantly a great commotion and a hurry- 
ing off trains. Meanwhile the fires were spreading with 
great rapidity, and threatened to sweep over the city, un- 
til fifty men from Morris Island reenforced Colonel Ben- 



346 LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAN. 

nett's little handful of men, when he instantly moved up 
into town with twenty-five men, sending small detach- 
ments to take charge of the public buildings and depots. 
His march up Meeting Street was one continued ovation. 
Crowds thronged the streets and cheered, hurrahed, waved 
handkerchiefs, and in other ways manifested their delight 
at the arrival of our troops, and at the sight of the old 
flag, borne ahead of the little company of colored troops. 
The officers were mounted on horses, borrowed for the 
occasion, and could hardly keep their saddles, so many 
enthusiastic individuals, of both sexes, were at the same 
time shaking them by the hand, catching hold of their gar- 
ments, hugging their horses, and welcoming them in other 
violent styles. Charleston never witnessed such a scene 
before, or echoed so loudly to the cheers for ' President 
Lincoln,' the ' Stars and Stripes/ the ' Yankee army/ 
and other patriotic subjects, as it did on that memorable 
day. One would suppose that the people had gone mad 
with joy. It was a universal outburst of joy, and the 
little band of Yankees moved on with all the eclat of 
most honored friends, instead of successful enemies and 
conquerors. Was this, indeed, the hotbed of treason ; 
the very home of disloyalty and rebellion ? None would 
have dreamed of it had they witnessed the reception of 
our flag and troops that day. It was the most wonder- 
ful display of loyalty and patriotism." 

And thus, after all the terrific cannonading of four years, 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEKMAN". 347 

with the sufferings and death of the long siege, the " ac- 
cursed city " fell without a battle for its possession. When 
the Confederate and Palmetto flags were raised on the 
walls of Fort Sumter in place of the dishonored banner 
of freedom, in the spring of 1861, the boastful Mayor of 
Charleston made a flaming speech, declaring that they 
should wave there for ever ! — that Southern independ- 
ence was secure, and her career of glory begun. He 
assured the enthusiastic people, that if their ensigns were 
struck down they would be trailed in " a sea of blood ! " 
"We may leave him to his meditations while we join in 
the shouts of victory. 

Standing on the walls of Sumter, look away in the 
direction of General Sherman's march. From Atlanta 
to the shattered fortress, in this campaign " our great 
victories were almost bloodless, and therefore the more 
joyous and the more memorable. Branchville fell by 
manoeuvre, not by the costly price of heroic troops. The 
turning of Branchville was the signal for the evacuation 
of Charleston, and its capture was the capture of Charles- 
ton. It was as if Sherman, sixty two miles distant from 
Hardee, had sent him a telegraphic message to vacate the 
premises, and the notice was obeyed without question. 

" Ordinarily, one would have supposed that the 
streams which crossed Sherman's path at every step 
would have been successfully contested. But he appears 
to have passed them without a day's delay at any one. 



348 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

Of such vital importance was time to both parties — to 
the one, that he might make his combinations and con- 
centrations ; to the other, that he might break them — that 
no sacrifice would have seemed too great on the enemy's 
part to ensure delay. But, at the very first show of re- 
sistance at a river crossing, our advance, not waiting for 
support, would dash into it, waist-deep, with loud cheers, 
while the rest of the column hurried to flank the position 
above and below, and invariably in a few hours the ene- 
my was in hot retreat." 

But let us walk over Charleston after its occupation 
by our troops. The flames shoot up on every hand, and 
the firemen rush to the centres of conflagration. Thou- 
sands of bales of cotton and many buildings are consumed, 
amid the frantic distress of the people, who are princi- 
pally the poorer classes, left in the wake of retreat. The 
depot of the Northeastern Railroad became the arena of 
new horrors. 

Then came the destruction of the rebel fleet. Very 
fittingly the Palmetto State first flew into fragments with 
a loud report, which signalled well the fate of the home 
of secession, and over it soon swept the free waves. 
The Chicora and Charleston followed in the work of 
ruin. Cotton, rice, tobacco, locomotives, etc., fell into 
our hands. 

" The reports of the Charleston editors that the city 
experienced but little damage from our shells, like nearly 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 349 

all others emanating from the same source, were essen- 
tially false. It requires no very extended examination in 
the lower streets of the city — those near the bay — to sat- 
isfy the most sceptical of the fact that our shells were 
working most serious injury to the town, and that the 
continuance of the bombardment would make it a mass 
of ruins, as it had already rendered it untenable to the 
most courageous resident. But two persons resided in 
1 Shell-town,' as some wag named that portion of the city 
east of the two-mile post, visited by our shells, and they 
clung to their firesides with a tenacity of purpose that the 
most demonstrative and aggressive Parrott shell failed to 
relax. Though their beds were torn to pieces while they 
were engaged in their domestic affairs — both being fe- 
males — by impertinent shells, and their culinary affairs 
seriously damaged by projectiles, their roofs perforated, 
and ventilators put in front of their dwellings, they would 
not move, but endured the bombardment with a coolness 
and equanimity rarely found. Even the rebel officers, 
who ordered them away from the dangerous ground, 
failed to call a third time to ascertain whether or not 
the order had been obeyed. They lived through the 
entire bombardment, became accustomed to the howl of 
the rushing shell and its sharp explosion, and paid no 
rent, although the buildings they occupied suggested 
heavy rents. Now that quiet and safety are insured 
they propose to repair and live comfortably once more." 



350 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

February 19th, Charleston was placed under martial 
law. Some of the regulations had a peculiar interest in 
the reference made to colored officers ; a condition of 
things in that most southern of the cities of the South, 
in its love of the " peculiar institution," the wildest re- 
former did not dream of four years ago. 

General Sherman disdained the display of success on 
entry into South Carolina, and remained on the hostile 
territory surrounded with mystery, caring only, in his 
own language, to do " a man's share " in suppressing the 
frightful revolt. On February 19th he was at Winsboro', 
thirty miles north of Columbia, on the railroad leading to 
Charlotte. The first telegram from him was dated at 
Laurel Hill, North Carolina, March 8th, saying : " We 
are all well, and have done finely." 



CHAPTER XXV. 

Wilmington — Peace Commissioners— General Sherman's Statesmanship— His 
Characteristics— Interesting Eecollections of General Sherman— His pure 
Character. 

^HE able General Schofield has been successful 
in the Department of North Carolina. Wil- 
mington was compelled to strike the" Confeder- 
ate flag, and ''Cavalry Sheridan" sent Early's 
troops "whirling" from his path whenever 
they measured swords on the battle-field. 

From Columbia Sherman marched to Cheraw, the 
terminus of the Cheraw and Darlington Railroad. Up 
to that point nothing but cavalry skirmishes took place, 
though Wade Hampton's force was constantly on Sher- 
man's flank. The army rested at Cheraw several days, 
and thence crossed into North Carolina. 

On the 8th of March the Richmond Whig made a start- 
ling announcement. It said : " Sherman is played out. 
In a few days our readers will hear where Sherman is, 
and what has befallen him. Let everybody be patient. 
Sherman's opportunity to establish a military reputation 
has fled, and we will soon hear of his discomfiture and 
disgrace." By a happy coincidence, on this very March 



352 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

8th, Sherman reached Laurel Hill, and, sure enough, " in 
a few days" the Whig's readers did hear "where Sher- 
man is, and what has befallen him." 

On the 10th, General Howard wrote : " To-day we 
have added Fayetteville to the list of the cities that have 
fallen into our hands. Hardee is said to have twenty 
thousand men, and withdrew across the river yesterday 
and last night. He is reported en route for Raleigh. 
The rebels skirmished in the town and fired artillery 
upon the houses occupied by women and children. They 
burned a bridge at this place, and removed all the public 
stores up by railroad they could. General Sherman is 
here and well. Many men are wanting shoes and clothing, 
yet the army never was in better condition." 

Gen. Sherman left Fayetteville for Goldsboro' March 
14th, reconnoitring the enemy the evening following, who 
made a desperate resistance to keep the road to that place. 
After severe battles at Averysboro' and Bentonsville, he 
reached Goldsboro' on the 21st, which General Scho- 
field, who was directed to meet him there, already occu- 
pied. The meeting between the long-separated comrades, 
officers, and men, is described as a memorable affair. 
Sherman's congratulatory order added to the general joy 
at the triumphant conclusion of the hazardous campaign. 
Every thing being accomplished as designed, Sherman 
hurried to the headquarters of Grant, to arrange with that 
general new plans of conquest. Leaving Goldsboro' on 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 353 

the 25th, he reached City Point on the evening of the 27th, 
and at once the new programme of war was arranged; 
The next day Sherman returned to his victorious army. 

On Sunday, April 2d, Petersburg and Richmond fell 
before General Grant's army, and General Lee's battalions 
surrendered at Appomattox Court House, Va., on the 9th. 

Meanwhile General Sherman had been in pursuit of 
General Johnson's army, and our President assassinated ; 
when the country was started with the news of strangely 
liberal terms of capitulation offered to Johnson by his 
victorious foes, the middle of April. The hero of South- 
ern campaigns having been constantly in the field, and 
General Grant having made easy conditions of surrender 
to Lee, felt that he should be sustained in the attempt to 
hasten peace by a generous treatment of the enemy. He 
did not intend to interfere with any action of the Govern- 
ment touching slavery, or the punishment of the traitors. 
The public feeling was excited on the assassination, and 
took fire at apparent " change of front" by Sherman. 

The Secretary of War rejected the offered terms of 
surrender, and ordered General Grant to take the field. 
He soon secured a capitulation to General Sherman on a 
basis similar to that of the surrender of Lee. 

The cooler moments of reflection by the people have 
exonerated our heroic, loyal victor, from any taint of dis- 
honor, and he has been the recipient of adulation wher- 
ever he has been seen, from the grand review of troops 



354 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

at "Washington, on their return homeward, to his arrival 
among the cherished associations of the West. 

"While General Sherman was on his way to Richmond, 
piercing the Carolinas with his lines of march and driving 
the rebel armies from his path, two important events tran- 
spired outside of martial movements. One was the send- 
ing of "peace commissioners" from Richmond, early in 
February, who were met near General Grant's headquar- 
ters by the President and Secretary Seward, and whose 
conference left the question of peace where it was before, 
in the hands of Generals Grant and Sherman. The other 
memorable event was the passage of the Constitutional 
Amendment by Congress, forbidding, after its approval 
by three-fourths of the States, involuntary servitude, ex- 
cepting for crime, throughout the land. It was an occa- 
sion of intense interest in the national Capitol, followed 
by similar .scenes in the loyal North, giving to the cele- 
bration of Washington's Birthday an importance in con- 
nection with the recent victories which was never known 
before, nor is it likely to have again. 

General Sherman has from the beginning of the war 
shown those great qualities of generalship rarely com- 
bined, even in successful commanders. His genius re- 
minds us of Napoleon Buonaparte in the comprehensive 
appreciation of the entire field of action and the exact 
issue, in high military culture, in the daring campaigns 
which have given him a preeminence among the few who 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 355 

stand alone in their unquestioned mastery of the art of 
war and ability to meet its largest responsibilities, and in 
a statesmanship equal to his military attainments. 

He has studied history, and the principles which lie at 
the foundation of the Republic. He is not cruel, but be- 
lieving war to be simply an engine of destruction to secure 
an ultimate good which can be reached by no peaceful 
means, his policy is the legitimate working of that engine. 
He would wield it with no tears of false philanthropy that 
would protract the appeal to its sanguinary settlement of 
difficulties, nor with the vacillation that would spare the 
enemy present suffering and secure a greater amount of 
sorrow in the future. He has kept his eye on the national 
ensign through, untold labors and perils, amid detraction 
and the rivalries of a mean ambition, holding the rein upon 
his war-horse with a warm but unrelaxing grasp. With 
a highly nervous temperament and manner, he is always 
calm and self-possessed in action. Genial and sincere, his 
troops admire and love him, and are ready to follow him 
to the bosom of a boundless wilderness thronged with foes, 
or into the swamps waist deep to storm a fortress beyond. 

Some pleasant reminiscences of Gen. Sherman have 
appeared in the Leavenworth Conservative, of Kansas, 
which, on account of their interesting character, are here 
added to his life : " Our citizens will remember that there 
stood on Main Street, between Delaware and Shawnee, 
in 1857, 1858, and 1859, on the ground now occupied by 



356 LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

handsome brick buildings, a shabby-looking, tumbling, 
cotton-wood shell. It was occupied, on the ground floor, 
by Hampton P. Denman, ex-mayor, as a land agency 
office. The rooms above were reached by a crazy-look- 
ing stairway on the outside, up which none ever went 
without dread of their falling. Dingy signs informed the 
curious that within was a i law shop/ kept by Hugh 
Ewing, Thomas Ewing, Jr., "W. T. Sherman, and Daniel 
McCook. Those constituted the firm known here in the 
early part of 1859 as Ewing, Sherman, & McCook. All 
were comparatively young men. All were ambitious ; 
the one who has gained the greatest fame, perhaps, the 
least so of the associated lawyers. The Ewings had the 
advantage of high culture, considerable natural abilities, 
cold, impassive temperaments, and a powerful family in- 
fluence to aid their aspirations. Hugh Ewing was but 
little known hereabouts, though acknowledged to be a 
brilliant and versatile genius by his intimates. i Young 
Tom,' as the other scion is familiarly called, has always 
been a prominent and influential man. 

" The third member of the firm fills to-day one of the 
proudest pages in the history of our land. His name and 
fame take rank with the greatest of earth. All conspire 
to do him honor. Aliens bow to his genius, and enemies 
show the extent of their fears of its power by the viru- 
lence of their hate and its manifestations. W. T. Sher- 
man never mingled in our public affairs. He lived 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHESMA2T. 35? 

among us for several months, having some landed in- 
terests here. An outlying part of our city plat is marked 
on the maps as ' Sherman's Addition/ Prior to entering 
upon the practice of law in this city, he lived for some 
time in the vicinity of Topeka, upon a farm of one hun- 
dred and sixty acres, which we believe he still owns. His 
neighbors tell of his abrupt manner, reserved, yet forcible, 
speech and character. Previous to residing in Kansas, 
Sherman lived in California, where, as a miner, banker, 
and lawyer, he made and lost a large fortune. A gradu- 
ate of West Point, he had previously held a captain's 
commission in the Topographical Engineer Corps, and, in 
pursuance of duty, had made several important surveys 
and explorations, the reports of which had been duly pub- 
lished by Government. They relate principally to routes 
for the Pacific Railroad. 

" A good story is told of Sherman's experience as 
counsel, and of his dissolution of partnership to take the 
position held by him when the war broke cut — that of 
President of the Military College of Louisiana. 

" TvTiile in the practice of the law here, Sherman was 
consulting partner, having an almost insurmountable ob- 
jection to pleading in court. He is accorded the posses- 
sion, as a lawyer, of thorough knowledge of legal princi- 
ples ; a clear, logical perception of the points and equity 
involved in any case. He could present his views in the 
most direct manner, stripped of ail verbiage, yet perfectly 



358 LIFE OF GENEEAL SHEEMAN. 

accurate in form. He was perfectly au fait in the au- 
thorities. 

" But to return to our story. Shortly after the recep- 
tion of the offer from the Governor of Louisiana in rela- 
tion to the college, Sherman was compelled to appear 
before the Probate Judge — Gardner, we believe. The 
other partners were busy, and Sherman, with his authori- 
ties and his case all mapped out, proceeded to court. He 
returned in a rage two hours after. Something had gone 
wrong. He had been pettifogged out of the case by a 
sharp, petty attorney opposed to him, in a way which 
was disgusting to his intellect and his convictions. His 
amour propre was hurt, and he declared that he would 
have nothing more to do with the law in this State. 
That afternoon the business was closed, partnership dis- 
solved, and in a very short time Sherman was on his 
way to a more congenial clime and occupation. The 
war found him in Louisiana, and despite of his strong 
pro-slavery opinions, found him an intense and devoted 
patriot. 

" T^e met him here, and though but slightly ac- 
quainted, have remembered ever since the impression he 
left on our mind. He sphered himself to our perception 
as the most remarkable intellectual embodiment of force 
it had been our fortune to encounter. Once since, we 
met him in our lines before Corinth, where he had com- 
mand of the right wing of Halleck's magnificent army. 



LITE OF GENERA! SHERMAN. 359 

The same impression was given then, combined with the 
idea of nervous vitality, angularity of character, and in- 
tense devotion to what he had in hand. Sherman is 
truly an idealist, even unto fanaticism, though, in all 
probability, if told so. he would abruptly retort bach an 
unbelieving sarcasm. He outlines himself to our mem- 
ory as a man of middle stature, nervous, muscular frame. 
with a long, keen head, sharply defined from the fore- 
head and back of the ears. His eyes have a bluish-gray 
cast, and an introverted look, but full of smouldering fire. 
His mouth is sharp and well cut : the lower part of the 
face powerful, but not heavy. His complexion fair, and 
hair and beard of a sandy-red, straight, short, and strong. 
His temperament is nervous sanguine, and he is full of 
crotchets and prejudices, which, however, never stand in 
the way of practical residts. The idea, or rather object, 
which rules him for the time, overrides every thing else. 
Eouud the mouth we remember a gleam of saturnine 
humor, and in the eyes a look of kindness which would 
attract to him the caresses of children. 

;i Such are the impressions left on our mind by the 
only military educated member of this legal quartette — 
all of whom have held commissions as Generals in our 
army." 

I shall give you, reader, from the pen of a friend, the 
Rev. 31r. Alvord. a pioneer in the religious army-work, 
who has been much with General Sherman, the best pen- 



360 LITE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

picture of him which has appeared, and which has never 
before been published : " Tall, lithe, almost delicately 
formed. If at ease stoops slightly ; when excited, erect 
and commanding. Face stern, savage almost ; yet smil- 
ing as a boy's when pleased. Every movement, both of 
mind and body, quick and nervous. A brilliant talker, 
announcing his plans, but concealing his real intention. 
A graceful easy rider, When leading a column looking 
as if born only to command. Approachable at times, 
almost to a fault, again not to be approached at all. 

" I saw him in a grand review at Savannah. His 
position was in front of the Exchange on Bay Street. 
The Twelfth Corps was to pass before him ; he rode 
rapidly to the spot, almost alone, leaped from his horse, 
stepped to the bit and examined it a moment, patted the 
animal on the cheek, then adjusted his glove, looked 
around with an uneasy air as if in want of something to 
do ; catching in his eye the group of officers on the bal- 
cony he bowed, and commenced a familiar conversation, 
quite unconscious of observation by the surrounding and 
excited crowds. Presently music sounded at the head of 
the approaching corps. Quick as thought he vaulted to 
the saddle and was in position. There was peculiar grace 
m the gesture of arm and head which did not weary, as 
for an hour he returned the salutes of every grade of 
officers. Reverence was added as the regimental flags 
were lowered before him. The more blackened and torn 



LIFE OF GENEBAL SHEBMAjS". 361 

and riddled with shot they were, the higher the General's 
hat was raised and the lower his head was bent in recog- 
nition of the honored colors. Every soldier, as he marched 
past, showed that he loved his commander. He evidently 
loved his soldiers. 

" I saw him in his princely headquarters at Charles 
Green's, on New Year's Day. Many were congratu- 
lating him. He was easy, affable, magnificent. Presently 
an officer with hurried step entered the circle and handed 
him a sealed packet. He tore it open instantly, but did 
not cease talking. Read it, still talking as he read. 
Commodore Porter had despatched a steamer, announcing 
the defeat at Fort Fisher. 

" ' Butler's defeated ! ' he exclaimed, his eye gleaming 
as it lifted from the paper. 'Fizzle — great fizzle!' ner- 
vously, ' knew 'twould be so. I shall have to go up there 
and do that job — eat 'em up as I go and take 'em back 
side.' Thus the fiery heart exploded, true to loyalty and 
country. 

" I entered the rear parlor and sat down at the glow- 
ing grate. He came, and leaning his elbow upon the 
marble mantel, said : ' My army, sir, is not demoralized 
— has improved on the march — Christian army I've got — 
soldiers are Christians, if anybody is — noble fellows — 
God will take care of them — war improves character. 
My army, sir, is growing better all the while.' 

"I expressed satisfaction at having such testimony, 



362 EIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 

and the group of officers who stood around could not 
suppress a smile at the General's earnest Christian eulo- 
gium. 

" Such is W. T. Sherman. A genius, with great- 
ness grim and terrible, yet simple and unaffected as a 
child. The thunderbolt or sunbeam, as circumstances 
call him out. 

" On the march from Atlanta his order was ' No 
plunder by the individual soldier ; ' but his daily inquiry 
as he rode among them would be, ' Well, boys, how do 
you get along ? like to see soldiers enterprising ; ought to 
live well, boys ; you know I don't carry any thing in my 
haversack, so don't fail to have a chicken leg for me 
when I come along ; must live well boys on such a march 
as this/ The boys always took the hint. The chicken 
leg was ready for the General, and there were very few 
courts-martial between Atlanta and Savannah to punish 
men for living as best they could. 

" When McAllister fell, he stood with his staff and 
Howard by his side, awaiting the assaulting column. 
' They are repulsed/ he exclaimed, as the smoke of 
bursting torpedoes enveloped the troops ; ' must try some- 
thing else.' It was a moment of agony. The strong- 
heart did not quail ! A distant shout was heard. Again 
raising his glass the colors of each of the three brigades 
were seen planting themselves simultaneously on the 
parapet. ' The fort is ours,' said he, calmly. He could 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHEEMAJS". 363 

not restrain his tears. ' It's my old division/ lie added. 
8 1 knew they'd do it.' 

" ' How long, General,' said a Sonthron, ' do you think 
this war will last, we hear the Northern people are nearly 
exhausted r ' ' Well, well,' said he, ' about six or seven 
years of this . kind of war, then twenty or twenty-five of 
guerrilla, until you are all killed off, then we will begin 
anew.' 

" A wealthy planter appealing to his pity, ' Yes, yes,' 
said he, ' war is a bad thing, very bad, cruel institution — 
very cruel ; but you brought it on yourselves, and you are 
only getting a taste of it.' 

" The English ex-consul asked him for protection and 
a pass on the group. d of his neutrality and that of his 
country. ' Don't talk to me,' said Sherman, ' of your 
neutrality, my soldiers have seen on a hundred battle 
fields the shot and shell of England with your queen's 
mark upon them all, and they never can forget it. Don't 
tell me you couldn't leave before I came ; you could send 
out your cotton to pay Confederate bonds and bring cannon 
in return — don't tell me you couldn't get away yourself. 1 

u The consul stood abashed, and awkwardly bowed 
himself from his presence. 

" Such is his treatment of rebels. He receives no 
apology nor has any circumlocution. He strikes with 
his battalions ; he strikes with every word he utters, 
whether from pen or "lips. The secessionists of Georgia 
and South Carolina believe he'll do what he threatens. 



364 



LIFE OF GENERAL SHERMAN. 



" Said the rebel colonel who had placed the torpedoes 
in the Savannah River, when ordered to take them up, 
4 No ! I'll be d — d if I do any such drudgery.' 

" c Then you'll Jiang to-morrow morning; leave me,' 
said the stern commander. The torpedoes were removed. 

" In this way, by his words, his manner, his personal 
presence, his threats with their literal execution, and the 
swift and utter destruction in the track of his army on 
their late march, he has struck terror to all hearts. 
Though thoroughly secretive, he is strangely frank. 

" ' Give me your pass, General?' said I; Til meet 
you again on your march.' 

" ' You don't know where I am going,' said he, with 
emphasis. 

" 4 1 think I do, General, if I can catch you.' 

"'Where?' 

" ' At Charleston.' 

" ' I'm not going to Charleston.' 

" ' Then, at Wilmington.' 

" ' I'm not going to Wilmington.' 

" ' I'll see you, I think, in Richmond.' 

" c I'm not going to Richmond. You don't know 
where I'm going. Howard don't know.' 

" But he gave me the pass ; I, at least, know where 
he was not going. 

" The country may well honor and admire General 
Sherman. His personal presence is an army of itself. 



LIFE OF GENEEAL SHERMAN. 365 

His army is duplicated by the spirit with which he in- 
spires it. Such a man wields destiny. God will guide 
his way. May He sanctify him. We shall hear more of 
him hereafter." 

General Sherman's character from childhood has been 
above reproach, and his honor unsullied. His amiable 
wife is a member of the Roman Catholic Church, while 
he, as has been intimated, usually attends the Episcopal 
service. Besides the death of his son recorded in these 
pages, within a year he has lost a child he had never 
seen — born while he was in the smoke of battle ; the 
young spirit went to heaven before the father's eye could 
rest on its earthly greeting to him through the smile of 
infancy. 

But a nation sympathizes with him in his sublime 
self-denial and his griefs, and in the language of our 
beloved President, " follows him with its prayers." 



THE END. 






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